Saturday, November 14, 2020
I had another friend who always talked about how she was smarter than everyone else. SHE WASN’T!
And another always talked about what a rebel she was but she only talked loud when the people she talked against were not around. SHE WASN’T!
The friend who always said she loved her life was very unhappy.
No one happy, brave, smart or great has to walk around saying it. Others will know from actions. This cartoon reminded me of these people and while others might be fooled you can never fool yourself.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
I grew up in the Gun Hill Projects in the Bronx. I went to Evander Childs High School and City College. I rode (and still ride) the buses and subways and never gave integration a thought. My world was made up of people of all religions and all races and I assumed the world was like that. I guess I was just dumb and sheltered.
When I moved to Queens I expected the neighborhood would be the same. Boy, was I wrong. My lily white neighbors had a fit when a Black family bought a corner house and were pissed at me when I was happy to have them as neighbors. My only criteria for a good neighbor is one I can say hi to and who keeps the house nice. More is nice, but not a requirement. Friendships take a while to develop although my husband and I quickly became friends with the family on the corner.
Today, as I do every day, I wander the neighborhood, camera in hand and check out blocks I have never walked on. Today's walk included blocks with houses mostly owned by Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, South East Asians and every nationality immaginable. The houses are beautiful, well kept and if there are people outside, they are always friendly. It warms my heart to be living in such an international area but it hurts when I think of the people who fled when the neighborhood "changed". It hurts to see young people who look like me are no longer interested in buying homes here.
The guy in the White House is worried about keeping the suburbs safe for suburban house wives. While I am not in the suburbs, I am in a suburban part of Queens. These people keep my neighborhood safe so I and people like the women pictured below can live safely and in nice homes.
I never want to go back to an era where we can't all live together. I want Trump to lose big and I want to send all the racism and hatred he has brought back to go back to the 50's
Thursday, September 03, 2020
A friend was approached by a Nassau County school. They wanted her to be a special sub in case a teacher needs to quarantine for 14 days. The pay is a big $157 a day, no health coverage, no sick leave and the job ends in January when a vaccine might be available.
This did not seem worthwhile to her and it certainly would not be worth the risk to me. I guess, if you need the money, you have to take a chance. Just seems like a gamble with small returns.
(Pictured above is the animal Zoom conference with participants from the Bronx and Queens Zoos.)
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Covid 19 means more time to speak to the people we don’t often talk to. I have been speaking weekly to my 94 year old aunt, a woman I avoided for many reasons I won’t go into here, and not for the reasons in this post but underlying sentiments of hers must have been coming through loud and clear for years.
Our conversations started out light. We talked about health, loneliness, family, children and grandchildren. She then started complaining about two of her grandchildren’s liberal ideas, surprising to her since they grew up in a family that gave them everything. I told her I thought that was wonderful. Her son raised great kids and I told her how my kids felt the same. She then went on to tell me how lucky kids were today and how easy it was for them to do well. I didn’t agree and told her so. Things might be easier for those who came from prosperous backgrounds but those without the background or education still struggled. In her day it was easier to succeed if you had the drive. Inflation is way ahead of income now. From here we moved to the protests. She kept insisting Black people have it much better now than they did when she was young. And, while I agree things are better, I kept trying to tell her that better was not good enough. Just because she sees some Black faces on the news doesn’t mean all have the same opportunities. Blacks are still being treated differently and harshly by law enforcement. I couldn’t convince her of the inequities I saw at Packemin and how, while no one would admit it, there was still a big difference when it came to race treatment in advanced classes and in discipline. I ended up saying goodby and hanging up.
Racism is alive and well.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Sunday, June 28, 2020
I just attended my first Zoom funeral. While it is good to see so many of my fellow temple members attending, showing love and care, physical presence is greatly missed. Seeing the rabbi and the deceased family gathered around the grave is heartwarming and heartbreaking. This man suffered so much in the last year of his life. I am thankful for the technology that at least allows us to partake, even from a distance. Even a beautiful song and eulogy by the wonderful Sol Zim was streamed.
I am hoping one day soon, I can hug my friend, the grieving widow and tell her I love her.
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Monday, June 08, 2020
Internet learning is not working. I spoke to the dad of a ninth grader today. The student has two concerned bright parents and a stay at home mom. The parents try and try but they can’t get her to do much school work, her schedule is screwed up. She is awake at night and then sleeps all day. The dad told me many of his friends are seeing the same things with their children.
I don’t have an answer. I can’t see schools going back and they will never be the same. If kids with concerned, educated parents are not getting education, imagine what is going on with others. I fear for the future.
Sunday, June 07, 2020
Friday, June 05, 2020
Saturday, May 09, 2020
We are stuck at home with no end in sight. Instead of whining I try to count my blessings. I have a nice, comfortable home to wait this out in, food on the table, internet, telephone, and plenty of entertainment on television. Everyone in my family is healthy. And this is what I do when I get sad and depressed.
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Monday, March 30, 2020
Times are hard and uncertain. A good friend just lost her 102 year old mom and couldn't be with her at the end. I am on a committee from my temple that arranges for food deliveries after a death. It broke my heart doing this yesterday and although the death wasn't Corona related and welcomed as he was sick for a long time it was sad to order food for only three people. I am sure there are so many more who would like to honor this man.
As I walked this morning I thought of people I had been friends with. Through mistakes, misunderstanding and lots of anger on both sides those friendships have dissolved. I have resolved to write to these friends and try to reconnect. I am not saying a friendship will ever resume but I am hoping to soften the sharp edge between us.
Stay safe, sorry for the depressing post. Bless the teachers struggling with online teaching, the poor kids who found school to be their only refuge from the hard lives they have at home and all the people working to keep us safe.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Our mailman asked me to help his daughter with math as she was struggling. He heard I was a math teacher from his friend who had a son in my class several years ago. Although I don't usually tutor, my mailman is the best and there is almost nothing I wouldn't do for him so of course I said yes.
This happened to be a great week to start, since school were closed, Jill had lots of free time and it just so happened I didn't have a lot to do this week either so we met on Monday. My mailman and his daughter walked in with the biggest box of cookies I have ever seen and sure enough, they were my favorite cookies. I told them not to bring anything again as they were friends and friends don't need gifts from friends.
Jill and I worked for about an hour and it was obvious from her facial expressions that she was catching on and feeling really good about the things we were going over. She even seemed to enjoy the math. When she left we made plans for two more sessions this week. I had a fight with her dad when he wanted to pay me. Friends don't take money from friends and I only help people I like.
My mailman is back to work so Jill has been having her mom bring her over. Today mom walked in with a huge bag of fruit. More important was the way Jill was able to write a geometry proof when she left and her new confidence. On Monday she just wanted to pass. Today she wants honor status in math. I assured her we will keep working until she gets this on the regents.
Working with Jill reminded me of how much I loved teaching and how much I loved working with students who needed me. It felt good to give and it felt great to get the hug when she left.
Sunday, January 05, 2020
I just finished dumping the rest of my lesson plans. I guess I held on to the calculus ones for so long because I spent so much time working on them and it was truly a labor of love. Anyway, I came across this cartoon, I always tried to lighten the load by adding a little humor to everything I did.
I hope my students are all doing well and have nice memories of our classes. I miss them all but don’t miss all the other BS that went along with the job. Retirement is great.