Tag Archives: minority

The Purge – Bootstrap

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The Purge – Bootstrap

There’s a lot of shit going on and history being made right now, this second, in the world. 80 years from now people will be reading about these current times in whatever newspapers, books, or blog posts there are in the world or beyond. During these, future times what do you want people to read about humankind, humanity? Some bull-shit about you making Fool’s Gold in a global economy!? Or stories about you inspiring your peers and community by trying to enduce and inflict the positive impact that that time needed!? Time will judge what that calling will be.

At the end of the day, my observation as a teacher is that we need all strong citizens to feel compelled to reach back into their communities to teach and support those that need it, which is really everyone. No matter where you come from, if you’re of able body and mind, you should feel obligated to do what you can to (over)fertilize that ground and village that you sprouted from. It should be inherent in you to leave the ground more plenteous for whoever comes after you.

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Support, lead, guide, nurture, develop, fertilize, choose whichever word carries the most meaning to you. I can accept initial ignorance, and in response, I will inform you now! Teaching and learning are the nutrients and the duties we all carry as a burden if weare to complete our most basic of civic duties. If you’re reading this, I will repeat again, (your interpretation of) teaching and learning are the nutrients and investment you must see fit to return once you reach individual success.

Change would be instantaneous in communities around the world if people began to purposely mentor the youth they touch (family, friends’ kids, neighbors, church family, students, friends, co-workers… whatever.) And also chose to view these as learning experiences more so for your for your own sake just as much as your mentee’s. I think this is a vital step toward beginning to build strong communities of worldly citizens, importantly strong Black, Brown, urban, marginalized, (insert label here).

As Dr. Kunjufu says, no one gets to success without stepping on a few backs intentionally or inadvertently along the way. Even people that believe they achieved success through their own grit and control – You owe it to that very alignment of the stars-esque luck to actively help align the heavens for someone else. Once you know these gates exist, they are easily out-maneuvered. However, the cost of this privileged-knowledge burdens its users with a debt of eased-maneuverability and flexibility: often forgotten, and never paid back in full with interest.

My strong Black and Brown citizens, it takes a new level of arrogance and disconnect to believe that you, yourself, have found success without having received uninitiated support and guidance from a community elder during your youth. Remembering the context that this is the same world where the verdict in the George Zimmerman Trial could have been anything but not-guilty. This argument instantly puts my emotions into over-drive – filling my body with the passion that leaks out of my eyes and mouth – words and motions spilling out on the floor faster than I can process or recall for all that matter.

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No string of language(s) exists that can begin to describe the institutional webs that block the natural and otherwise promised progression of young people of color, specifically males. And to be clear and fair, there is no amount of studying that will ever make me believe I know all the ways these (plural) institutions affect our daily lives for better and forthe worst.

At the end of the day, really all I wanted to say was this. HEY YOU, do your job homie! If you can read this ask yourself are you purposely teaching and learning? If you are not, for the sake of your ideals on equality, justice, humanity, love, whatever – Start. If you don’t know how, ask someone to help you start. It’s that simple. You can ask me and I’ll brainstorm with you. Yes, it’s that simple.

info@skoolhaze.com (info (at) skoolhaze (dot) com)

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This piece is really a response or better yet an explanation of a rant of mine on facebook.

SkoolHaze ThePurge Bootstrap Rant

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Challenging Students or Challenging Environment

Challenging Students or Challenging Environment

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Even in my own head my most recent post(s) come off as a misrepresentation of what I’m really experiencing this year as a 2nd year teacher and graduate student. By no means have things been easy and just fallen into place properly. If anything I’ve felt as though I have to deal with a lot more chaos than I did at the beginning of last year. However, I’ve been managing it with more laughter and matter of factness, at least in my own head.

This year, I’m working with a lot more freshman students, which is great because its helping me build relationships with the new members of the student body. The freshman class is more independent than previous classes we’ve brought into the school. They seem to be able to work better on their own, and to date haven’t given much pushback when we give them homework or require them to step up to the plate with their work. This has been surprising, but also pretty frustrating when trying to figure out how to bring the same sense of responsibility to our sophomore and junior classes at the school. I’m not quite sure what we can do to bridge the gap for them, but, that will be part of my job next marking period as I work with some of our junior students in the new Post Graduate Prep Elective.

This year’s freshman have been a great social experiment for me. I’ve really been able to push myself and them beyond what I thought I was able to do last year, and with a lot more natural appeal. Had you asked me last year if I was myself in the classroom or some character I presented, I would have answered that I was definitely my genuine self. However, the freshman this year seem to have brought a more relaxed and authentic version of myself into the classrooms as a teacher and my graduate classes as a student. They’ve also helped me realize that no single experience in the classroom starts and ends in that classroom. We live in a world that is constantly pulling and growing on things that have happened previously in all of our lives.

Some of the challenging situations I’ve had to maneuver this year have oddly enough all come from the same classroom. In one class of approximately 20 students on the roster my co-teacher and I have –

  • A) a student who functionally can’t read (well)
  • B) a student who for lack of a better term has extreme mood swings within one period
  • C) a student that has the energy and attitude of a tazmanian devil
  • D) a student that just so happens to be the son of my barber – which has made subsequent management very difficult do to the inherent conflict of interest.

Dealing with these students in the same classroom has been… interesting. Interesting by the way is my new buzzword for, a fucking mess. I will say though that although these students have kept me on my toes I do feel a genuine love and responsibility to look out for their security, growth, and comfort inside and outside of my classrooms.

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A few weeks ago, students B and C, who by themselves have the power to completely derail a productive classroom environment came into class and performed the Dragon Ball Z Fusion Dance. For those of you that don’t know it’s a dance performed by particular characters in the popular anime series that allows them to combine forces, strength, and minds to fight stronger enemies. So far this is probably the single most hilarious memory I’ve had as a teacher. I’ve included a quick video showing the fusion process below, and yes the students literally did this in the middle of class, in unison, together. I died a little inside from shear amazement that they even knew of the fusion dance, and second that they were essentially saying in code that they were combining to wreck havoc together.

Ironically, I actually think both students were able to focus and get a decent amount of work done this day. However, I was taken aback by their seemingly freudian slip. I think subconsciously their act was an admission that they both understood that they had the power to derail the class if they chose to. The whole class period I moved in a semi-state of shock, like what the hell have we gotten ourselves into.

Of course, fate decided that I would be in charge of both student’s IEP meetings. Both meetings brought surprises and challenges never experienced before. One student’s IEP is still yet to be drafted… yet another thing I have to complete this weekend… supposedly. One thing I love about my position as a teacher is being able to connect with my students on a simpler level than their educator. In both meetings with the students, I mentioned the fusion process that I saw in class, and how I was shocked that they even knew what that was. It served as a door opener to students who can be particularly difficult to connect with when not in the mood. Even weeks later I still can’t quite get over having two Super Saiyan students who understand their power to support and disrupt a classes progress singularly and even more-so together.

To tie this back to my initial statement, clearly these students both saw the fusion process years ago at home, and brought the idea into the classroom to really just have a good time and share laughs together. I know I haven’t watched Dragon Ball Z in probably over 5 years, and its been a lot longer since I heard of fusion. In the end, I let both students know that their fusion was hilarious, and I respect them for comedically bringing it into the class. I actually think the three of us are the only ones who caught it in the moment and haven’t forgotten it. However, I’ve already put my co-teacher on game, and let the students know that any further fusion activities will be met with equal force from my co-teacher and I.

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We laughed… and to this day they have continued to be lovely difficult students to manage in the class.

Front-row Leadership with JeShaune Jackson

The Creative Dreamers Award has been funded! We’ve met our goal of $3,000. I have a call next week with our liaison on campus to discuss next steps in regards to communicating the scholarship to the campus, alerting the selection committee, and figuring out how we can start building an actual endowment or if we should continue to go the yearly route. In hindsight, it took far more time to get the actual scholarship paperwork complete than it took to raise the total amount of funds. Proof that its not that difficult to do your own if your interested. Hopefully my subliminal hints aren’t so subliminal…

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As we all know, the world works in very mysterious ways. I recently stumbled across an article about another young creative dreamer doing his part to spread positivity, push himself, and completely dominate the game. Meet JeShaune Jackson, a 26 year old, business owner, graduate student, philanthropist, and mentor. [He sounds a lot like me, or at least what I want myself to become.] JeShaune recently delivered his first Jeshaune D. Jackson Scholarship to a young African American male student at his alma mater Bedford High School in Ohio. Even better, JeShaune introduces his scholarship winners and runner ups to black physicians and scientists, and develops his own mentor relationship through consistent check ins and relationship building activities.

With his scholarship, JeShaune plans to build black youth by providing them the much needed one on one mentoring and role modeling they will need to support their future successes. JeShaune himself earned a bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University in Premed and Biology. He’s currently pursuing two masters degrees from Case Western Reserve University – Entrepreneurial Biology and an MBA in Design and Innovation, and wants to add a medical degree on top of that.

Donate directly to JeShaune’s scholarship:
JeShaune D. Jackson Scholarship to Treasurers Office
Bedford City School District
475 Northfield Road
Bedford, Ohio 44146

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JeShaune is a philanthropist, scholar, and also businessman. He created the business/nonprofit organization BioComm. The organization brings together graduate students from diverse academic backgrounds – medical, law, engineering, business, and other fields – to build proposals for science and medical innovations. Participants gain valuable entrepreneurial and business experience working across fields and with real world clients. With the help of the students, JeShaune’s BioComm looks to bridge the gap between science innovation and consumer. You can watch a video proposal featuring Je’Shaune and BioComm at the Johnson and Johnson Be Vital Challenge website.

As we can see JeShaune is an ambitiously inspirational player on the scene. Its humbling and invigorating to see him accomplish his goals. I love the vision he has carved out for himself and his endeavors. He is leading from the front! Think of it as front-row leadership. Being different and resultantly impactful with your leadership. What are some ways you lead from the front? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.

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Find out more about JeShaune, the scholarship, and BioComm:

 
 

African American Scholarships

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This is something I saw on facebook and I wanted to share it with people. Don’t let the fact that many of these are national scholarship deter you from applying. You never know what you can get when you take the time to put a nice presentation together. 

Please Share: AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS ARE NOT APPLYING !

Even if you do not have a college-aged child at home, please share this with someone who does, pass this scholarship information on to anyone and everyone that comes to mind. Though there are a number of companies and organizations that have donated monies for scholarships use to African Americans, a great deal of the money is being returned because of a lack of interest.
No one is going to knock on our doors and ask if we can use a scholarship. Take the initiative to get your children involved. There is no need for money to be returned to donating companies because we fail to apply for it. Please pass this information on to family members, nieces, nephews, friends with children etc. We must get the word out that money is available. If you are a college student or getting ready to become one , you probably already know how useful additional money can be. Our youth really could use these scholarships. Thanks! (If clicking on the link doesn’t work, copy and paste the URL in your web browser.)Link back to the facebook post here – http://tinyurl.com/cpz55ug

1) BELL LABS FELLOWSHIPS FOR UNDER REPRESENTED MINORITIES
http://www.bell-labs.com/fellowships/CRFP/info.html

3) Student Video Scholarships
http://www.christophers.org/vidcon2k.html
4) Coca-Cola Two Year College Scholarships
http://www.coca-colaschola/rs.org/programs.html
5) Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships
http://holocaust.hklaw.com/
6) Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships
http://www.aynrand.org/contests/
8) Gates Millennium Scholarships (major)
http://www.gmsp.org/nominationmaterials/read.dbm?ID=12
10) Sports Scholarships and Internships
http://www.ncaa.org/about/scholarships.html
11) National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships (NABJ)
http://www.nabj.org/html/studentsvcs.html
12) Saul T. Wilson Scholarships (Veterinary)
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/mb/mrphr/jobs/stw.html
13) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
http://www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org/sk_v6.cfm
14) FinAid: The Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid Scholarships
http://www.fina/id.org/
15) Presidential Freedom Scholarships
http://www.nationalservice.org/scholarships/
18) Hope Scholarships &Lifetime Credits
http://www.ed.gov/inits/hope/
19) William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship for Minority Students
http://www.apsanet.org/PS/grants/aspen3.cfm
21) Guaranteed Scholarships
http://www.guaranteed-scholarships.com/
22) BOEING scholarships (soma e HBCU connects)
http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/educationrelations/scholarships
23) Easley National Scholarship Program
http://www.naas.org/senior.htm
24) Maryland Artists Scholarships
http://www.maef.org/
26) Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship (for AA students in South Florida)
http://www.jackituckfield.org/
27) Historically Black College & University Scholarships
http://www.iesabroad.org/info/hbcu.htm
28) Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students
http://www.beanactuary.org/minority/scholarships.htm
29) International Students Scholarships & Aid Help
http://www.iefa.org/
31) Burger King Scholarship Program
http://www.bkscholars.csfa.org/
32) Siemens Westinghouse Competition
33) GE and LuLac Scholarship Funds
http://www.lulac.org/Programs/Scholar.html
34) CollegeNet ‘ s Scholarship Database
http://mach25.collegenet.com/cgi-bin/M25/index
36) Federal Scholarships & Aid Gateways 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel
http://www.blackexcel.org/25scholarships.htm
37) Scholarship &Financial Aid Help
http://www.blackexcel.org/fin-sch.htm-sch.htm
38) Scholarship Links (Ed Finance Group)
http://www.efg.net/link_scholarship.htm
39) FAFSA On The Web (Your Key Aid Form &Info)
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
40) Aid &Resources For Re-Entry Students
http://www.back2college.com/
41) Scholarships and Fellowships
http://www.osc.cuny.edu/sep/links.html
42) Scholarships for Study in Paralegal Studies
http://www.paralegals.org/Choice/2000west.htm
43) HBCU Packard Sit Abroad Scholarships (for study around the world)
http://www.sit.edu/studyabroad/packard_nomination.html
44) Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities
http://ccmi.uchicago.edu/schl1.html
45) INROADS internships
http://www.inroads.org/
46) ACT-SO EUR Olympics of the Mind “A Scholarships
http://www.naacp.org/work/actso/act-so.shtml
47) Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships
http://www.baeo.org/options/privatelyfinanced.jsp
49) Graduate Fellowships For Minorities Nationwide
http://cuinfo.cornell.edu/Student/GRFN/list.phtml?category=MINORITIESIES
50) RHODES SCHOLARSHIPS AT OXFORD
http://www.rhodesscholar.org/info.html
51) The Roothbert Scholarship Fund
http://www.roothbertfund.com/
52) Creative Dreamers Award
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