Monday, August 30, 2010

First school day... kinda

Hmmmm, when I was awakened this morning at about 5am by a lovely angel of mine, I didn't expect the unexpected, nor did I contemplate the confrontations I would possibly face. I brought a few supplies, nothing printed out to handout and definitely no treats to entice the masses. My room is filled with no posters, no work on the wall, and no "listen2thompson" cool quotes. Not because I don't want them, but because, well, to put it bluntly... I'm broke as a joke. There's no sound heard here nor there , it's eerily quiet for a first school day, until I realized... I'm an hour early. So I get my final wakeup on and BLAST my theme song. "ALL I DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN NO MATTER WHAT!!!" And then throw on some Trey Songz - Already Taken, to calm myself and remind me of my inamorata. And finally I ended my jam session with Big Daddy Kayne's - Ain't No Half Steppin!!! Ah yes now I've got my mind right. Throw a few last minute things together, check the status of this and that and... times up... there's the bell.

"Welcome to Mr. Thompson's class" is what is read across the top of the white board. Students flood in carrying index cards, some are able to find the instructions and follow them by filling out information about themselves on the cards. Others are loud, looking to see what I'm seeing and noticing, trying my nerve and testing the so-called "new teacher." The late bell rings, I walk in to the front of class and bring out my timer and announce, (all in one breath), "You have 30 seconds to get those shirts tucked in, those hoods off and in compliance with the school dress policy or else you will spend your nutrition with me learning how to dress yourself accordingly." I'm counting down to the last second, pointing at unacceptable tuckings. The tone is beginning to be set, but just as I begin to let them know how it's going to be everyday, I am getting disrespectfully challenged. There was a lot of chitchat going on; and that is so not acceptable in my class. "HEY!!!!" "LISTEN UP!!!" It had become apparent to me that I must set these youngsters in place right now. "First rule... when I'm talking you are absolutely not! Because if you're talking while I am, then you can't listen. And if you can't listen then you can't learn. Therefore if you aren't learning, and so what are you here for?" This is all stated with my wrinkled forehead look. Going on with my no nonsense speech, I further exclaimed... "I'm not here for you to like me, I'm here for you to learn from me. Now, on another note... I have a serious attitude, and I'm fine if you have one yourself because you should, BUT... just make sure you don't have one with me. Because if you do then you're going to have a problem, that you can't solve and in a dilemma that I always win. So I understand people having positive and negative attitudes about different things, just remember to not start something or bring that wrong attitude in this class." Hmmmmm. Now picture yourself, a seventh grader with a seemingly mean and upset Black math teacher with an attitude in front of you that ends his little speech with... And when I say something I mean it, and I'm not playing. Sounds fun huh?

Now I'm sure a lot of you might say... oh my child won't have a teacher talking to them like that. Or maybe... that's uncalled for, there's no need to scare kids like that. Perhaps some of y'all think... well, I wish my kids would have had someone like that as their teacher to keep them in check. And I'm sure there's, at best, one of you who'll read this and think.... mmmm hmmmm discipline me Mr. T. HEH HEH HEH sorry that was out of line, and off topic. My point is this, there are many ways to begin class with middle school kids and this no nonsense approach has always given me great results and began a great rapport between my students and I. You can believe me or not, I don't care; go try teaching yourself and then give me your opinion. HEH HEH HEH
We continued with an activity, and then moved on to discuss my syllabus that had the class rules and procedures. More rules??? Oh yes, my first rules were to keep the class in check, the syllablus rules keep the class running smoothly. But the kicker to discussing my syllabus is not the ordinary hand it out and we read it word for word. Oh no no no, my students will not get a copy just yet. I will explain key points out loud and they will take notes on it, leaving it in their notebooks for future reference. I dish out details on everything from the course objective, to the BE PROMPT, BE PREPARED, BE POLITE, BE POSITIVE (you better believe I put my optimisim in there), to required materials, to grading and cheating. Every student took notes, some better than others, but they all know now. I'll give them a copy to take home and return on Wednesday. What? Why would I do that you say? Well, actually the copier was occupied this morning, so I improvised.

I may be losing a few of you by now... so let me get to the meat and potatoes. Did the day go smoothly and controlled? No. Did I have to yell at anyone and get in a kid's face or put my fingers in someone face? Come on now, of course.... not. That's not my style. I'm smarter than these kids and my words are my weapons. I don't need to swear or insult or belittle or demean anyone. BUT... you better believe, I kept kids after class individually and as a whole group, had sidebars with a few, made kids stand that didn't know how to sit, made kids get up and mingle that thought everyone was going to come to them, and even had a student shadow me around class because he wasn't very clear on how to follow instructions. Am I mean? Heh, I can be the meanest or I can be the nicest teacher you've ever met! You choose what you want, it's all about your attitude. I told them that too. Oh btw, one student already said, "I already like you better than my past math teachers, you're cool Mr. Thompson." And of course I cracked that mischievous smile of mine and said... "We'll see."

THANKS FOR READING, now please comment, criticize or congratulate below or somewhere. =^_^= MuchLuv2All
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blood is thicker than all this BULLSHIT

A good friend of mine wrote this as her status...

Jaime Linda Gutierrez I would like to know peoples thoughts on "Blood is Thicker Than Water"....cuz in my opinion that comment is a bunch of shit!!!! Family is what you feel in your heart for that person. I have friends who I consider "family" but we aint blood, but they are loyal to family in my opinion is not by the blood or last name you carry.....

So I had to respond this way...

"Blood is Thicker than Water" SHIIIIIIIIITTTTTTT If that ain't some bullshit, I don't know what is. If blood is thicker than water, then what the hell are friends for, why make friends, how come we even get married to a friend or stranger?... Now that may be a little extreme, but my point is that just bcuz you are family doesn't mean you are deserved or owed or ENTITLED to certain "rights" or "privileges" or "advantages" over non-family members. For example, I've been friends with a few people for 22 years, we've been through all kinds of shit! And let's say if any of them were going through hard times, or say they just wanted to come visit with their family or whatever and needed a place to crash or some money for this or that. Well, bcuz I know them and we've proven our loyalty throughout the years, I wouldn't hesitate to help them and I'd do WHATEVER I could to help them out bcuz I've got REAL LOVE for them. Now if my cousin or uncle or nephew or niece or whatever "blood" relative asked to stay with me, borrow some money or crash and we hardly talked, haven't spent any time together at all really and have known of each other but not ever got to know one another then they can almost forget it, or there would be a lot hesitation before I consider it. Shit if I had a family member living with me now that wasn't trying to get better or progress themselves, and my friend needed me, then shit, my "blood" might have to kick rocks or make themselves scarce if they couldn't contribute or weren't "cool" with me helping my friend. Back in the day my family kicked me out, claimed I ran away, left me living in the streets for weeks, and I didn't have a roof over my head until my boy scooped a brutha up and said you are staying here. His mom fed me, his brothers made me their brothers and my real life-family expanded. I thank God everyday for all my friends and family and I say it just like that bcuz one isn't necessarily more important than the other, but I will say this... I've got a lot of friends that are more important than a lot of my family and my love will always run deep for them.

Now it is important for me to state that the love that I have for my family is true and real as well. I've got family I've known all my life, known part of my life, or just met and known recently in my life and, (if they are real), I'm down for them just like I'm down for my friends bcuz they are true, real and ain't done me dirty. They haven't written me off, disowned me, or talked to my other family members about something I've done so that I could be looked down upon; and trust me I've done some crazy shit. I've got family on my team and that's how it's gotta be. You ain't gotta agree with me and you ain't gotta do what I do, but if you can support me or can constructively criticize me and don't try to bring me down or belittle me then I'll love you until the end and always be down. That's mad love and I know what that's about. And if you don't you better ask somebody...

All I'm saying is that it's all about show and prove, if you ain't trying to show, then that proves to me you ain't trying to be true. Don't come to me at the last minute and be like, do me this favor bcuz we're family. Bcuz I'm gonna tell you staight up and out, I don't give a fuck, you better have a better excuse than that, and where's the love been all our lives? Blood is real and that breaks the ice, but it damn sure don't entitle you to my life. Not your opinion, not your judgement and damn sure not your shit you try to bring to me. Keep it real, and you'll always have real friends and family in your life and be fake or try to impress others and you'll end up with poor friends and two-faced family members that will shit on you. Fuckin blood is thicker than water bullshit, sorry jG, I can't stand that damn saying. It really should say, PROVEN LOYALTY IS THICKER THAN BLOOD OR WATER! And remembering that you don't need everyone in your life. If that friend or family or whoever ain't trying to encourage and/or endorse what you are trying to achieve for the enrichment of your life, then they aren't someone that should be a part of your life and basically the curb is right there, so kick 'em to it. Getting rid of people like that in your life enhances your life and makes you feel better about yourself and it feels DAMN good; trust me I know and I LOVE IT!!! Stay Strong, Stay True, BE YOU!!!

Was I out of line or just being me...



Judging... but was I rude... not that I really give a shiizzzzzzzzzz UITB

A good friend of mine put this as her status:

Lilly Olson-Keovilayphone: You should never judge the people you love... and actions ALWAYS speak louder than words...

Some friend of hers decided to respond this way...

Rob Collier: You are soooo correct!!! Also never judge a book by its cover!! I get this a lot!!! And I hate it!!! I am so use to getting dirty looks..was asked by my sis in laws dad how many years I was in prison? WTF? I got mad!!! I have never been to ...jail!! arrested or in any trouble what so ever!!! I just looked at him and said with a very angry look on my face.."You did not just say that to me" then I went off!! I think they have been upset with me ever about jumping to conclusions..and when did prison get such beautiful colors? Anyways never, ever judge ANYONE!!!One Love 

So I responded this way...

Lillian B, your statement about not judging the ones you love is spot on... bcuz you should be able to bypass all of that judgement with real love; real love for family or friends. NOW, Rob, that statement, "never judge a book by it's cover..." is one of the MOST hypocritical statements of all time! The reason I say that is bcuz EVERYONE does it in one form or another, and at one time or another inadvertently. It's all about presentation. If you walk around wearing a suit all the time, be prepared to have some think you are well off, professional and respectable. If you walk around sagging with your underwear hanging out, be prepared for people to thing you bang, you are a thug, you listen to offensive music and probably consider you uneducated. If you walk around with great makeup, large shades, nice clothes with a GORGEOUS body, be prepared for women to think you are a bitch, or full of yourself or even slutty if you are showing more skin than they are or your clothes are tight. People judge you if you are Black, if you are tattooed all over, or if you are you really fat or even just really tall! It's human nature to prejudge, and it's why people don't just walk up to others and have conversations with strangers on a regular basis. Bcuz we "think" or we "assume" or we "jump to conclusions" about how others are on their appearance. This is something we can't control but we can most definitely alter. My profile picture is a prime example, I wear those shades and walk around with that look on my face quite often and I am trying to portray myself as an "asshole" and that I'm unapproachable. And that's what I want you to think at that time. BUT... not one of my friends or family, if asked to describe me and my personality would ever use the word "asshole" to describe me. But it's how I present myself at times and if you present yourself a certain way, be prepared to take on and handle the scrutiny from all others. Yeah people say who cares what people think or what people say about you, but that's not true because we all care about that too, one way or another. IF you didn't care then why would you let what that guy say get to you? Why do we let any words people say of us get to us? Regardless of our reasonings, just realize that they just won when we show them our infuriation with their words. Instead you could have laughed and told him about himself. For example, while smiling at him you could have stated "hmmmm you must have spent a few times in prison yourself to identify that someone with tattoos must have done some time." And after making that statement to him, who do you think would be the one upset? Exactly. So all I am saying is always understand that you will be judged regularly bcuz of your appearance, as we all will. But it's up to you how you present yourself, which opens you up to different judgements you may or may not like. What's more important than worrying about being judged is how you react to it, and personally, I have already won, (besides all I do is WIN WIN WIN) every time someone looks upon me and "thinks" they know who I am, what I represent or what my next move is. I LOVE IT TOO bcuz they just proved to me that I'm better than they are with their negative assumptions, heh heh heh. On a final note, as a realist, I don't pretend to think everything is all good, or people generally think the best of others and with smiles and positive statements things will be all "gravy baby" bcuz they won't. Optimism takes action and can be achieved when you practice and believe. MuchLuv2All

p.s. damn I guess I felt pretty passionate about this, sorry Lil, but I know you understand the love. =^_^=

 So my question is this... am I rude or protective or straight up?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wow, she brought it...

There are people in this world who just effortlessly do it. "It" would be bring joy... I watched this lovely lady bring smiles and laughter to at least 10 strangers around her. She didn't even know she was doing it. The people around were your regular everyday people going through the motions of life, not smiling at anyone, not saying excuse me, no salutations, nor any eye contact for a possible greeting or grimey. But when this lovely incredible lady started to shine, I promise it was like magic before my eyes. The homey from the hood let the dust fall from his face as he cracked a winning smile, (unbeknownst to us around him), at such delightful pleasantries. A Latino brutha with music blaring in his ears heard not one other sound, but grinned gracefully at the site of gleefulness amongst him. The protective mother with her sadden-faced son let down her guard and revealed that "awww how sweet" smile, whilst her son joined in with laughter from the energetic entertainment in front of them. A teenager stared and oogled at the the lovely lady as if to wish she had the affect that lady had on others or perhaps her appearance that was just absolutely stunning. But it wasn't the beauty of this incredible lady that brought joy to these people for those moments, it was her "easy-to-smile-with-"demeanor, her beaming presence that reflected so well, and her attitude about how great life can be.

Communication, cooperation, and consideration played roles during this harmonious time. This lovely incredible lady talked to a little boy, about fried chicken, brushing his teeth and Superman. His voice was filled with excitement as he spoke loudly about how much he loved meatloaf and Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and heads started to turn and faces began to show enjoyment. It was incredible, I couldn't believe what I was perceiving, I know it's not the first time this has happened, nor would it be the last. Just bearing witness to something so simple, yet remarkable, warmed my heart. This happy accident is way too irregular, and that's unfortunate. People, we all love being happy, but we are not allowing ourselves to do that anymore and it's easy. A simple smile, a NICE excuse-me, any courteous good-mannerism or any good-natured gesture makes a difference. They always say the little things count, but how about we start trying to count the little things that bring us joy, and in turn we share with others to enhance the lives around us. BTW you just did it for me by taking the time read a few words from me. =^_^= thank you MuchLuv2All

P.S. Should I have asked that woman with angelic appeal her name... nah I'll move on knowing she's blessing other souls with her rays of merriment and exhilaration.