Initiated by Bassey Ikpi, Here is my attempt to write for 30 days straight. Wish me luck, I'll need it
Recently, my days have been frustrating...
I have some sort of brain difference (either ADHD or something else) all my life. I have the attention span of a gnat in a wind storm, I'm hypersensitive and I rarely want to be near people. But in my defense, have you met people? That last one is completely justified...
I am "a woman of a certain age" now. I had hoped that I was able to navigate (by that, I mean, Hustle) through alright. However, my old tricks aren't working as they used to and I am finding it harder to get through my day without feeling frustrated or defeated in some way. It makes me literally tired but because of the insomnia, I rarely rest.
Many of you know that I have a child on the Autism Spectrum. The way I do things (or barely do things) is affecting him so I know that I really need assistance or I will fail him (Side Note: Funny how having kids will make you take care of your self WAY better than you would have when you had no one to care for). I have gone for the assessment and I will find out (hopefully) and assessment or diagnosis.
I have not gotten any type of formal diagnosis previously because of my own stubbornness and pride. After a certain age, you figure you have it all worked out. but of course, I don't. My work and home life struggles and my personal life is ridiculously complicated in that the way I select folks to be around is sort of like a random science that only I can understand. I have been the source of frustration among my peers and mostly my family all of my life. I am realizing that my running around is only hindering me getting anything done (or at east, feeling accomplished).
Its representative of Women generally and Black women specifically (because, I'm all Black and stuff). We work so hard for others, we fail to take care of ourselves. In the Black Community (either by choice or circumstance), the Black woman is depended on for so much the stats about Black women and Stress are not surprising.
I am realizing that I have to get it together before I drive myself and the folks I love around me into the ground.
Initiated by Bassey Ikpi, Here is my attempt to write for 30 days straight. Wish me luck, I'll need it
Today was a ridiculously horrible day.
You know, one of those days that help define why folks hate Monday. The day where all of my ADHD Traits kicked in and left me completely wondering if all the things that my family said about me were in anyway accurate. Then you go to the Social Networks and folks are just arguing and insulting each other in the name of "Political Discourse." All insults, no compromise, All Talking Points, no manners.
Then there he was on my twitter feed: @chrisman1991
He in no way agreed with me. but he had references to his arguments (Which I didn't agree with) and he was cordial and didn't talk to me like a child just because of my views. He disagreed respectfully and added information and so did I. No random people showed up to provide unsolicited points that wouldn't have been helpful. We were talking Citizenship and our stances on the random wars. and we still could leave smiling. Nice, Right?
Now I can't even call myself 1/2 the liberal or salamander that James Carville is (I'm not even a registered Democrat). But I think I found a new Mary Matalin in Mr. ChrisMan, who's profile says he is a "professional Stair Faller" (which kinda makes him distinctively awesome).
Thank you, Sir for restoring my faith in communication in a generation of electronic courage. Hopefully we can have many more productive discussions!
Keeping it Curvy, Confident, Chic. by Marie Denee
In a previous podcast, we talked about how many people are not aware of the most
appropriate way to dress for business settings (Interviews, Business mixers, etc). My
thoughts wandered to think that if people of smaller sizes can’t (or don’t) dress for
business occasions, how can my larger, curvy self do it without looking ridiculous or
For the record, my name is Monika, I am a size 18 (depending on the jeans), and I can’t
stand shopping. I have been considered “Plus Size” since longer than I remember (like
when “plus size” began at a size 14). The process of shopping is a chore for me. The
frustration trying to find appropriate business outfits leads me to not shop at all. Real Talk,
Its difficult for a girl like me to look my age in what seems like a fashion world that
assumes a size over 16 means you should dress like either a school matron or so
inappropriately that no one wants to hang out with you. Looking at the the traditional
options while trying to maintain my personality is hard work to me.
Thank goodness for Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista!
Her e-book, Keeping it Curvy, Confident, Chic is a godsend for folks like me. Denee
breaks down not only the best places to get plus size fashions, it also tells folks like me
(the fashion deficient) the tips and tools EVERY Girl should know before trying to shop and
dress like a grown up. I’m sure some of the rules were known by some people: Buy a good
bra, always have a Little Black Dress (LBD). But for me, I thought that bigger sizes had
different rules. Probably because of the consistent marketing discouraging to today’s
This book addresses all of that. Its an overall great guide to the when, where and what
of Shopping. And did I mention that it has DISCOUNT CODES!!!
I would like to personally thank Marie Denee for providing a great guide to help folks
through the task of actually getting clothes that flatter. I am actually getting excited… well
at least I don’t dread it as much.
Pick up your copy at the Curvy Confident Chic Website
OK, So here’s the thing. Before we talk about The Occupy Oakland Day of Action. I have to first talk about Oakland.
The Bay Area is a little different. It cannot be explained, It must be experienced. They replace “very” with “Hella” for goodness sake. Tupac, E40 and Keshia Cole are played more than Biggie, JayZ and Beyonce. It must also be known that Bay Area folks don’t steal spotlights, The lights just end up on them.
That being said, if the area as a whole is different, the politics will be different also
The birthplace of Ethnic Studies, the Black Panthers and organized Collegiate Anti-War Demonstrations, Bay Area Folks know how to protest. Its in their DNA. Remember Representative Barbara Lee, The ONLY person to vote against the use of force after 9/11? The people of the Bay Area is who she serves.
What does that have to do with Occupy Oakland… EVERYTHING
The Occupy Oakland movement began on October 10. In most areas, that would be considered Columbus Day in most areas. Here, it is “Indigenous Peoples Day.” And to be honest, I didn’t understand it more than I understood the Occupy Wall Street Movement. But Then again, I am a known cynic about Bay Area Protests. They often reflect a “Shiny Bauble” feel to things, where every rage to injustice has a shelf life and then forgotten. I thought occupy Oakland would end on October 25th when 13 different Police agencies came in. But they were back the next day.
I decided I had to evaluate the situation from a different perspective. On October 29th, I took my Son (Da Youngsta) to the Occupy Oakland Site. The perspective of children in situations like this is awesome.
So Da Youngsta looks around and asks the first person he sees, “So, why are you guys here?” He listened, then continued asking other people. I let him gather information for him to report back. His report was simple… “Mom, it looks like only a little bit of people have all of the money and these people don’t like it…” Before I know it, Da Youngsta starts passing out flyers about the November 2 Day of Action and telling me how his money needs to be moved to a credit union.
Another supporter won over with conversation.
The Day of Action was beautiful for the most part. way more organized than before the police came on 10/25 and so polite (I call them the “Excuse Me, Pardon Me” coalition). They had orderly, organized marches and speakers on everything. News reports the attendance of the rally at over 6,000 and the attendance overall to 100, 000 over the course of the day. With all that, there is still a question as to their purpose and relevance. I still don’t quite understand it. Let me rephrase… I support their right to take the actions, I just don’t know what the end goal is.
Then I was taking a ride around Lake Merritt today and hear some folks talking:
”…but you can’t complain about those occupy cats unless you can actually give them a solution. This my city, I have to do something…”
That stuck with me while I was riding the lake in the “New Oakland.” 25% white, 27% Black. what used to be considered a good working class wage has been converted into a upper lower class existence. After years of keeping your head down and trying to just make it to Friday, Its hard to get folks active in anything.
So maybe, the Occupation Movement isn't for City Hall, or even Me. I know that I have the ability to create change in at least one person a day. Maybe it is for the people that feel that nothing can be done because they don’t have power. Maybe it’s for them. because now folks that never had any inclination to do anything are changing banks, providing food and provisions and supporting this thing.
The tide is turning in Oakland. and I “Hella” Love it…
From the Mocha Autism Network Site
OK, So for the Oakland school District, December begins the enrollment period for the 2011-2012 academic year. No Problem I will just look in the enrollment guide for Middle Schools and everything will be just fine. I am so grateful that the Oakland Unified School District has an Asperger's Program (ASIP) in specific schools from Elementary through High School. This ought to be simple... Right?
Wait!!! What? Middle School... When did that happen? I just got over letting Da Youngsta stay the whole day of Kindergarten in 2005!!This can't possibly be happening. And besides, I thought I just worked on a great IEP and work plan for him and the 5th grade is going very smoothly with a few hiccups. Now I have to work with another Speech, OT, Inclusion and now 5 teachers? I am surely going to need to be medicated....
For those of you in the Bay Area with Elementary School Students, The Aspergers program is at Piedmont Avenue Elementary school near Fenton's Creamery. the 2 Middle schools that house the program are Edna Brewer and Montera Middle Schools Both are some of the highest ranking (I mean kick A$$ ranked) schools in the district and for both, the High Schools that children go to include Oakland Tech and Bishop O'Dowd. I toured both schools as well as spoke with the Aspergers teachers and Principals at both. Here is a Run Down:
Both Schools (as well as all in the District) consider the 6th grade as a "transition period." That means, the 6th graders are pretty much housed in a separate part of the campus in their own sort of "school" the only time they are going to be with older grades is during gym and a portion of lunch
Both schools have amazing Electives such as Concert band/orchestra, Computers, and art classes. Montera Middle school is also home of one of the few wood shop classes in the state (probably the region).
Both schools have a population of almost 1,000 students! Yep, you heard me: 1,000. the 6th grade classes in both schools are equivalent to the total populations of most elementary school.
Instead of Transitioning 5 times, 6th graders at both schools only transition 3 times Math/Science is a block Language/Social Studies is a block and then PE
There are after school clubs that last until 5pm at both schools. although if you are not in a club, there may not be space in the current afterschool programs on either campus.
The ASIP programs are innovative and non-intrusive the teachers seem to have a lot of training in social skills and they like to be there (which is always good)
Edna Brewer is an "academic family" structure where the principle and teachers rotate with the kids. For example the VP of next year's 6th grade class will move up a grade with the students and will also be their 8th grade VP. that is helpful for those of us that hate to explain everything over year after year.
There are a bunch of other things, but this is long enough. I will try to post more later.
Whew... All this for middle school? I don't think I will be able to make it... Y'all Pray for me. ~Mb
from the Mocha Autism Network site
On our Adventure at Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley) today, We met a cutie of a boy. The 7 year old ran and scooted his way between Da Youngsta and I to push the button on the model Roller Coaster saying "The Button is lit, I have to push it..." Recognizing the urgency in his voice as one I hear a lot, I had a conversation with him.
"Hey Sweetie! we have 5 seconds and then you can push it ok?"
"But the button is lit NOW!"
"there is a timer right here, See? as soon as you see the word "PUSH" then we can push it..."
"OK... I get to push it right? I saw the light first!!!"
"Of course you do, you called it!"
His Exasperated Mother quickly ran to apologize to me for her son, Something I think she is used to doing. I told her no problem and asked the boy his name.
Mom: "Aiden, Tell her your name.."
Me: "Well, How are you, Sir Aiden! Nice to meet you. "
Aiden: "Its time to push the button..."
The Mom apologized again. This time I said "No Worries! when My son was his age, he didn't look me in the face either..."
"Sigh... Thank you so much for understanding. I have been getting glares since I got here"
Turns out Aiden and his Brother, Collin were diagnosed on the spectrum at 18 months. The mother had been running around the museum all day and she just needed to sit down. Da Youngsta Hung out with Aiden for 20 Minutes and the mother was "resting" by only watching Collin.
I am saying all this to say you never know who you can help once you realize how you felt in that position. As parents of special children, we have to help one another
2014 by Monika L Brooks