Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"I got things on my mind..."

..."I'm not to busy for ya... Never too busy..."
(brownie points for the person who can tell me who sang that song, its going through my head like mad.)

Well oh well, things are on my mind today.

When I walked into the school office today, I did a little dance. "It's Maaay! It's Mayyy! Estamos en Mayyyoooo! Ya mismo se termina!" I musta looked more than my usual nuts but alhamdulIllah I am SO happy that I survived this year. Not only survived, but did... ok, not well. I did good. (English teachers, ignore the incorrect grammar, thanks.)

Miss Wolfe and I and one of the other eighth grade teachers gave out certificados today. And the kids voted for best teacher in their math teacher's class. Wow. One more milestone done. I think it was the best one.

I have to tell you, we went through some work to give those kids those things, but they made almost all of the BS for the year worth it. They wanted to act all hard, but their faces just lit when we presented the awards. Several times I really was holding back tears, which does not happen. I just *sniff* got so...*sigh sigh* emotional. They deserved every award they got.

Turned out that I left the (really cool, plasticized, durable) dictionaries that we presented to the top 4 students at home in order to get to the bus on time. (Note: still missed said bus when it flew by without so much as tapping the brakes. Bummed a ride in a cab with Casado. Shame on me.) Why dictionaries? The Spanish-English dictionary that the kids use as the common reference in my classroom is one I won in highschool from the AATSP So, at midday I grab a guagua chiquita to my house instead of eating (I had no food anyhow). Miss Wolfe picks me up in front of ocho de blanco, and we speed back to the school, where we frantically inscribed them with names, messages, and dates, got Missy Vargas' help in wrapping them, and then walked back to my classroom to present. So worth not eating to see the looks in their eyes.

So...even though they may never see this... I'm sending CONGRATS and GOOD WORK TO:

Josue Jones Jackson and Yashira Rodriguez Marquez
Most Improved Overall English 2004-2005 E.L.A.

Sasha Ortiz Quinones and Cesar Santiago SantanaMost Outstanding Student English 2004-2005 E.L.A.

Su maestra les saluda y les felicita en todos sus exitos. Adelante!

We took pics with most of the students when they got their certificates...I don't know if I'll post here though since I covered my hair as always but still wasn't dressed as I should have been (read: Islamically). Thems the breaks.

Onnnnnn another note, I was sad today when I was giving out certificates and realized that my student, Joy, wasn't there. (Joy is not her real name.)
Turns out that the week after she fell out with what turned out to be low blood sugar on top of an asthma attack, she left a suicide note lying around in her house. Which apparently was the reason she didn't want us to call her parent (her aunt actually, I guess her mother can't be bothered) when she had the asthma attack- she wanted to die. No chance- not with a homeroom teacher who's a paramedic...
but I did refer her to the school social worker who then rapidly convened her aunt and mother after they told her about the note they'd found.

Long story short, she's been committed for at least 2 weeks.

So I'm making dua (that's praying to all you non-arab-speaking peeps) for this child, because in the time I've known her she's been so sweet,so patient, so lively, I hate to think that at her age the world has no hope and motivation for her. Insha'Allah she will be back in touch with us soon, a changed and healing person. A touch of sadness with the joy of the day.

JOB SEARCH UPDATE: Still nothing (what, were you excited?)!

Yo yo yo Book To Check Out:
Sometimes Rythym, Sometimes Blues by Tigli Smith.

I walked into the "Black Interest" in the very back corner of the bottom floor of the San Juan Borders (distinguished 'cuz there is now one in Mayaguez, btw), saw this on display, flipped through it...

...and three hours later got up after finishing it. I read fast and well.
I'm pushing this book for anyone Black (or anyone who loves someone who is Black) in America. It's NOT just your normal whining about the 'shortage' of Black men or how Black women need to change. It's a lot of young writers giving solutions and different points of view on the complexities that are living and loving as black people in the USA in the times of changing expectations and status. AWESOME book. One of the best I have read in the long time. Once I get me a job Ima go back and actually buy the joint. That's how much I liked it. (I'm broke, forgive me.)

What else? Ahhh yes.

Shouts to Sherry and Nene and Anita. I keep getting cut off on the phone with you. I miss yall and I'll talk to you again soon.

MARK: I met this awesome guy named Mark twice in the last couple months. First while waiting for an extremely late bus, the other while listening to the Renuentes reciting and jamming on the side of Las Torres dorm... I keep thinking about him. I've only met the guy twice! Wassup with that!? Hmmph. Insha'Allah I'll either forget about him (ala Bilal and Alej) or I'll see him more often. It's not deep enough to make istikhara over.

Y'all pray for me to get a job or find a way to stretch my current resources. It's gettin' heavy 'roun heah.

love and peace


  1. it's david caleb, your eversmiling irish shamrock guy from the bus stop. in case you didn't know, i DO know mark... he's very good friend of mine... jejjejejeje guess you weren't expecting that, now huh? anyways, i read your column and liked it very much. i'm interested in the book by Tigli Smith, guess i'll buy it and let yoou know how i liked it... is this kind of english good? it's kind of too american-ish for me taste, so cut us a slack here, bear with me, luv. anyway, what i liked the most about your column (the most recent, the one on top of the others), is the lovely, so-deeply-personal style. you write like you talk, luv. i kind of got the digs for what an Islamic, non PRican, English teacher in PR thinks like. if was unraveling and revealing, especially for me, for i'm a writer and now i got background for any English-teacher character for upcoming works. i'll sure keep on reading your stuff. play good, play shamrock, i'll read till i die. love and kuddos! david caleb, irish guy at the bus stop.

  2. ay, bendito, la verguenza de exponerme en el internet pa'que to'el mundo vea el hombre con quien estoy preocupada. Bendito.

    ah, whatever. thanks for the comment david, see ya'round...