It’s been a hell of a month
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I won’t make any excuses, I haven’t been paying much attention to Medium. While it’s a great platform, I've been working on my poetry more and writing prose less.
Poetry comes easily to me. I can bang out a couplet (a two-line poem) and write a bunch of them in 10 minutes. It usually takes me twice as long to write one essay. But it’s the last day of June and I need to have at least one post for the month on my page.
And what better way to end the month than to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly from the past 30 days? A lot has happened during the month and it will be an unforgettable June. We are halfway through 2022. The second half of the year will probably be crazier than the first half. We all need to get ready and hang on for the ride.
To begin, June 4th was my birthday. That was a good start to the month. In addition, after spending several months trudging to a COVID-infested school, I was finally able to take a few days off to celebrate my birth. And celebrate I did! New clothes, shoes, bags, and almost everything I wanted. I say almost everything because the one main gift still eludes me — a new Apple Mac book. Specifically, I want an Apple Mac book Pro with a 14-inch screen.
There are two reasons why I want a new laptop — 1) my current laptop is a piece of crap. I've had it for 2 years and it is worse than my previous laptop. Currently, it glitches and the screen goes black from time to time. That’s not a good sign. 2) I’ve decided that I want to focus my social media on fashion. I want to start a YouTube channel about streetwear style. My style skews towards streetwear. I love sneakers and sweatpants. I love wearing sweatshirts and hoodies with skirts and dress shoes. I want to focus my channel (and blog) on that area of fashion. I don’t think it gets enough love.
Currently, I’ve shifted my second TikTok account to art, and lately, I’ve been posting fashion illustrations. I use to have fashion and art on the account, but now I’m only doing art. I’ve been doing more fashion on my Instagram, so I’m putting more emphasis on style on that account. I feel that I’m finally focusing on my interests and I hope things continue to come together throughout the summer.
A good moment was going to Washington D.C. I did some work with the national chapter of E4E, Educators for Excellence. I met the founder of E4E and some of his top people. Our NTLC cohort of E4E was in D.C. to do policy work on behalf of educators. A survey focused on the retention of BIPOC educators and mental health support. We met with legislative aides and sat in the offices of congressional leaders. We were filmed by E4E’s social media crew and it was posted on Instagram. I’m even featured in a spot!
The experience led me to want to do more policy work. E4E has exposed me to so many opportunities! More so than BPS has since I came to the McCormack. At least when I was at Madison, I was a lead teacher and a building rep. I worked with professors from Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill. I did curriculum work and presented during a PD. At my current school, I’m treated like an idiot with a subpar evaluation hanging over my head. It’s time to make some career moves!
One good thing from work — I’ll be co-teaching a college class in September! My new principal has faith in me. She doesn’t treat me like I’m stupid and she recognizes that I want to be a leader. The school has a partnership with UMass Boston to take a cohort of 10th graders and take them through the college experience. The plan is that the students have an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school. And I will be a big part of it! So there is something to look forward to this fall.
A bad moment in June was commemorating the 5-year anniversary of my mother’s passing. I can’t believe five years have gone by. It still hurts. I miss my mom. I know she’s watching over me. I have to believe that. I still have issues with God. Too much has happened this year in the world for me to believe that a deity is protecting us. What happened to those poor children in Uvalde? Or the seniors that we gunned down in Buffalo? If there was a God, why didn’t he prevent those deaths? People suffered!
A good moment was being named a finalist and having my poem published in the Dogwood literary journal. I also have a poem forthcoming in the Impostor literary journal. Those were the only two good poetry news this month. It’s been nothing but rejection after rejection. I’m still sending out work, but I’m trying to be more selective with my submissions. The submission fees alone make it that way.
An ugly moment is the current state of the economy. Gas and food prices shot up this month. At one point, gas was over 5 dollars in Massachusetts. It has gone slightly with the average being around 4.89 now. Food prices are still high. Going to the grocery store for a few items has become crazy expensive. I need some food stamps, EBT, WIC, something!
An extremely ugly moment is the recent decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. A leaked memo from May sounded the alarm. But people still hoped that the justices wouldn’t overturn a 50-year-old law. But they did and many red states led by Republican governors were quick to either ban all abortions or severely restrict them. Many Planned Parenthood clinics had to close or limit their services. Thousands of women were left in a lurch.
The Supreme Court has made its position clear — the justices make decisions based on their beliefs and not on the law. They’ve just announced that people can pray in schools. It was also decided to roll back regulations by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. At this rate, the country will be a cesspool full of polluted cities and women dying from botched abortion procedures.
Thank goodness Ketanji Brown will be sworn in today as Justice Breyer is retiring. In Boston, we also have a new Superintendent. Mary Skipper was voted to be the new leader of the school district. I don’t know much about her but I hope she’s effective. The State Education Department wants to place the district in receivership. If the mayor and the superintendent don’t meet their list of requirements, we are all in trouble.
Something both good and bad is my hoarding issue. It’s good because I recognize I have an issue and want to do something about it. It’s bad because I have a lot to clean up around the house. The declutter struggle is real! Fortunately, my son is a willing helper. Thank goodness for him! His father adds to the mess, but my son wants to lessen it. His energy spurs me to keep going and my goal is to have the house in better shape by Labor Day weekend.
So that’s June. A lot has happened. Some good and some bad, Some big ugly for sure. But all of it is a learning experience. I want to have a fun and productive summer. I want to meet my personal goals and get my home in order. It can be done. It will take a lot of time and energy but it’s doable. I just have to stay focused.