Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Fun

I can see it now; lying on a beach while basking in the warm, endless sun.  Summer time is on her way and I can't wait.  Summer is a time for friends getting together.  During the winter, many people hibernate, but in the summer you see your neighbors again.  You have barbecues, parks, pools, fireworks to occupy your time.  During the year, I teach.  However, I look forward to the summer so that I can catch up on my writing as well as relax.  I can rejuvenate and replenish my stressed soul from the year.   I hope to catch up with many people that I don't really have a chance to see during the school year.  Summer stands for peace, projects, and relaxation.  I always look forward to the summer and plan on embracing her with a warm welcome. Unfortunately, she comes and goes really briskly. I never feel that there is enough time to really take a moment out and enjoy her presence for the time that she is here.  As soon as I become accustomed to her, she disappears while vanishing and leaving the Earth to be dull and tragic.  I wouldn't mind grabbing hold of her rays while coaxing her to stay among us longer.  I do believe she brings people together.  There is definitely a placid, free feeling in the air where I admit to feeling calm and safe.   We can dress lighter and comfortably.  We need not worry about jackets and hats that mess up our hair.  We do not need to worry about blizzards, ice storms, or frigid temperatures.  We can all take a deep breath as we breathe that summer, sweet air.  What does summer mean to you?  How do you plan on spending your summer?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Resource for Teachers on Slavery

Since I am an educator, I know that sometimes it can be challenging getting through to our students and helping them to understand material.  Students struggle with understanding historical concepts as they may not be able to believe the atrocities of long ago are real.  Therefore, I write pretending to be that person from that time period.  I try to base it on facts and put a spin on it so that students can understand concepts better.  I wanted to share with you a piece I recently wrote, pretending to be a slave.  This can be used as a read aloud.  You can develop questions for your students based on this reading.  If you would like to send me feedback, I would very much like to hear what you have to say.

The year is 1795.  I don’t have a name.  I don’t have an identity.  I belong to my master. I live in the South.  The cotton gin was invented a few years ago.  This invention is my nightmare.  Because it was invented, all I do is pick cotton all day and part of the night in the fields.  If I don’t pick them fast enough, I get a whipping.  I don’t want to get married because my life is not really having a life.  I know a man who has a wife and children.  He was just forced to separate from his wife and children.  It is very sad.  His children will not grow up with their father.  Chances are, his children won’t grow up with a mother.  They probably will separate the mom next from her children.  That’s what they usually do.  I have seen death all around me.  I saw a man get lashed and brutally whipped because he dropped his bushel of cotton.  I have heard the screams of a woman getting attacked by her master.  I have seen young children being murdered because of their color.  I have seen it all.  I have no name.  I don’t feel like a human being.  I have no identity.  I do my work and try to stay alive.  I am better off not having a name; walking through the shadows of the night, while melting in the heat during the day