Tag Archives: love

Don’t nothin feed me like teachin these Black kids

There’s nothing like teaching Black kids.

BlackConductor

I’m quiet about my profession. Outside of this here blog. I rarely volunteer that I teach. Or that I’m a special education teacher. Or that I teach students in Brooklyn. Or that my students are all Black and Latino. Or that they’ve had a few academic failures in that pathway to my high school’s door. Or that they can be… rambunctious to the untrained eye.

That media, they sure is good at what they do! Every single time someone finds out I am a teacher, the first thing they comment on is my patience to work with those crazy kids, or the fact that they could never work with bad ass kids. Everytime. It always makes for an awkward introduction. I’m normally compelled to contextualize black-adolescent behavior in historical context for my new comrade real quick. It always seems to bring the other person to a hard stop when I completely reframe the conversation about how bountiful my students are in every which way and how I wish everyone could teach so they could enjoy the same feeling.

I mean, when I tell yall that there NOTHING better than teaching a classroom of my kids I mean it. They are such amazing vessels to be surrounded by. My kids burn off energy and brilliance like its been out of style since style was style. I love working with young wo/men that are developing into our nation’s newest and brightest minds. Everyday my mind is blown from their ability to spontaneously combust into catastrophic clashings sometimes of joy and other times out of terror. Everyday I learn something new from my kids. Each day I’m humbled with their knowledge and understanding of the world. Each day, their resilience reminds me of how easy I’ve had it in my life so far. Each day they push me to come with my A-game to even share the same space with them. Honestly, and I could drop the fuckin mic right here. These kids have me on my fucking A-game. Everything I wasn’t in track and field, I am for them. Nothing in my life has made me want to succeed as bad as these kids.

Everyday they suckle on every last piece of energy and knowledge that I have to bestow upon them. And each day I feel like I gotta reup and find some new shit to feed them. If I’m not nourished, in the traditions and the virtues and spectacle of my own being, then how can they be? They show me more respect than I feel like I’ve earned and deserve. Each day, they welcome me into their midst when they don’t know how raunchy and pathetic I may have been the night before. They accept me, and expect me! Even when I come home and struggle to accept and expect myself!

These kids fight-fight everyday against a society that has already fucked them so over-over-over that they great grandkids’ futures are probably already on some statisticians desktop being plotted and pointed for gross profit-propagandalization. And the real shame is n****s prolly great-great-great-great-quadruple-great grandkids have already literally been accounted for. We’re livin in a world where we’re all statistics. Period. And even still my hittas hustle for opportunity and perspective that the layman takes for granted. Everyday I see my kids cast out into the depths – hungry for knowledge and a success that even I struggle to envision and create for my damn self.

I know I can’t pay it justice. But… there’s absolutely nothing like walking into a room of people 9 years younger than me – and trying to give them every piece of me that I have so they can do great things in this fucked up world. These kids feed my soul. Oh my god. Its so insane. Knowing my seats are filled with stardust, blazing bright and high in the sky.

I don’t need no fucking book to say it. No fucking body to say what I know I can say.

I love teaching my little Black kids! And don’t nothin feed me more than being in a class with these Black kids! They the real ones with soul.

The Purge – Heart

SkoolHaze ThePurge Heart Header

The Purge – Heart

If I know you, I love you

(This goes out to all the people who believe in me, and have helped me in any way to becoming the person I am today.)

I’m in the lab now. I started this (project) at 12:30am, and its 4:30 now, and I’m nowhere near done. This all began because I was inspired to write my roommate a letter telling her that I appreciate her. In the fog of war, I’ve been stupid congested. I feel things, but don’t express them in the moment because I’m usually processing something unrelated in the same moment that is taking my energy. In that way, I guess I am a bit robotic as a few people have alluded. To them I say, let me live – I bring difference to this life and my interactions. I actually do care quite a bit about people, but the messaging gets lost in the fray.

To everyone I care about family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else I know…

I care about you all – when I talk to you, think about you, or even when I don’t think about you, I’m always hoping that positivity is coming your way. The weird thing about my life is I’m always finding connections between what I experience and what I’m reading.

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When I was reading Dr. Kunjufu’s Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, he mentions that men are raised from birth to disconnect from their emotions. And that communication was a skill set that has been historically linked to women. I love Dr. Kunjufu’s work. Oddly enough his publishing house is located close to where I grew up in Chicago. I love that his books bring words to many of the things I’ve witnessed, thought, and experienced in my life. They give me the language in which I am able to communicate and think critically about my life and role as teacher, student, and researcher.

I didn’t initially believe or connect with his words. Dr. Kunjufu writes in a way that is too matter of fact for me. However, like Basquiat, I digest his thoughts and create my own interpretation for the world I touch. (Interpretation is actually a powerful concept I’ve been playing with in my head ever since I began teaching. It’s liberating to be exposed to something, think about that experience, and in return create whatever product my mind deems acceptable to produce. <<– Jargon trash)

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In reflection, the book really does speak to my experiences right now. I absolutely know that I don’t communicate how I feel to the people in my life nearly as much as I should! For that I apologize. I really do appreciate you! And want to take this time to thank you for everything that you’ve done for me. Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, picking up the slack in a class, calling me when I forget to call you first, sending me an interesting article to read, starting a Gay and Straight Alliance at my school, whatever…

“Much debate has taken place over the last decade concerning the significance of biological and sociological factors contributing to male development. Physiologically, males have X and Y-chromosomes, while females have X-chromosomes. Males possess the hormone testosterone while the female hormone is estrogen. The chemical make-up of the male body is 40 percent muscle, 15 percent fat; a woman’s is 23 percent muscle and 25 percent fat. These differences have given some researchers the rationale for explaining why men are more aggressive and excel in math, while women are passive and excel in communication. ” (17)

The whole time I was reading I remember going back and forth between accepting statements in the book and rejecting others. For example, I don’t think the opposite of aggression is passivity. (Well, in reflection I guess the opposite is passivity, but I don’t think in absence of one you must embody the other.) I think there is immense power to those that are able to identify and negotiate the usefulness of the grey areas that lie between everything.

SkoolHaze Thanks Yo

I’m getting lost in the details. But overall, thank you for being you! You being you is helping me be me. I try to say thank you in the moment, but I often leave situations without showing my gratitude for the times when you have gone out of your way to show love, support, and camaraderie. This whole project germinated from the need to sit down, and show you what I was thinking about you. So thank you.

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