The deeper business of being beautiful inside.

Love, Politics, News & Notable
Blue and I saw 12 Years a Slave as soon as it was released in Atlanta. The film was stunning. We dined afterward and talked for hours about the the movie and the myriad topics it inspired: slavery, racism, privilege, wealth, the power of story, literacy, critical literacy and public schooling. We discussed the stories that get told or lost. We noted, with a healthy dose of cynicism, who "history" deems worthy of remembrance. We retold scenes to each other. Relived predictions, twists. What made us look away, hold our breath, or more tightly to the other's hand. The writing, directing and performances were brilliant. And yet as moved as I was during and after, it was Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey who brought me to tears: Patsey broke my heart…
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Dereliction and Fire

Text Talk
I debated the merits of crafting a preamble to this excerpt, and as I begin typing, I honestly haven't decided what to say about it. So we'll see... I read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Early on in my reading, I became angry. I graduated from a high school named after this man. We did not read his words. At various points, teachers or administrators recited quotes of his, or summarized the "highlights" of his life. Our mascot, school paper and yearbook were all symbolic of him. But we did not read his words. We did not spend time in an English class, nor a history class, nor an extracurricular making sense of his life. Glaring omission seems too quiet, too meek, too gray to…
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We Wear the Mask | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Education, Politics, News & Notable
Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. ~Paul Lawrence Dunbar I sit down with two other women present for the two-day workshop. We are instructional coaches – former classroom teachers – in Orlando for professional development in literacy. Our conversation drifts to “the kid.” Who was the kid? The one who was the pivotal in your career? Lillian tells of two, beginning with ‘Eric.’ That kid was always grumpy. On edge. He was likely to pick a fight or get in trouble for some reason or another. It wasn’t long before I discovered he simply couldn’t read very well. She explains to us how she won him over through small, daily successes. She…
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Schools Kill Creativity.

Education
So says Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert. In this 2006 TED Talk, featured below, he challenges us to reconsider the status and positioning of creativity. He says schooling tends to be about educating students from the neck up and "off to one side." Of course he means we value and teach to the left hemisphere as though traditional forms of intelligence are the only or best kinds. I agree with him. Schools and society miss the mark by overemphasizing the brain to the detriment of the rest. We think if we have the "best and brightest" we can compete in the global job market. (Or even in the local ones). I believe education should not be about jobs, but contribution. How can you be fully human and contribute to the…
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