Posted in Education, Family, literature, Mental Health, Poetry, Uncategorized

We’ll Try Again Tomorrow Video

There’s something about releasing poetry into the universe that terrifies me. I can speak in front of three people or three hundred. I can read an essay or an article I wrote to a full room. I can act (or at least attempt to), I used to perform in dance recitals (not well let’s be real), and I would get nervous but nothing like panic-inducing fear I get from reading poetry out loud.

I remember the first time I had to read a poem I wrote in front of an audience, I was seventeen or eighteen in my first year of college. I had won an award for a flash fiction contest and the story was basically a poem. Beforehand I told my teacher I couldn’t do it. That reading in front of others was just not a fun time for me.

He assured me I’d do great, it would all be great, everything was fine. I puked twice, went up and read way too fast, and it was over. I’ve had to read a few more poems to a group since then and it gets a little easier as I age but it’s still something so personal. A vulnerable arrangement of your innermost thoughts in an artistic display and you are exposing these ideas to others. It’s quite horrifying.

So now, this is my first ever video to correlate with a poem. Mind you my technology skills are a solid B, video is not my strong suit so don’t expect any amazing effects. It goes with You’re Going to be Fine and my new direction of writing for parents, children, and families with special needs.

See We’ll Try Again Tomorrow HERE!

Posted in Education, Social Change, summer, teaching

Taking Action

I did a post awhile back about getting teens more involved in their education and communities and brought up the idea of volunteer opportunities. I am a sucker for a great documentary and ever since doing research for my novel Forgotten Stories I have been drawn to any documentary about social injustice, especially about women. Although it is from 2012, I just recently watched It’s A Girl on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it please watch it but I’m warning you it’s one of those documentaries that you just shake your head the whole time you’re watching it.

It’s basically about gendercide and infant deaths of girls in India and China. It also mentions that the human trafficking epidemic is spurred on by the view that daughters will bring nothing but burden to their families. Of course there are exceptions, like one named Mitu I believe it was, who is fighting the medical board in India.

What does this have to do with my educational blog? Well, when I had spoke about volunteer opportunities before it was more along the lines of car washing and volunteering at the humane society. What are the limits of getting teens involved with more serious social injustice? Are these topics too graphic for them?

I know when I was a teen I heard someone from the CFCA (Christian Foundation for the Children and Aging) speak at my church and I talked my mom into sponsoring a child, Jonathan. Because of that we sponsored him for over ten years, until he was eighteen. We had a chance to go to Guatemala to meet him and see his family for three weeks in 2009. If I hadn’t heard that man at church speak and if I hadn’t pestered my mother, he may not have had a sponsor.

I guess what I’m thinking is that I feel so strongly towards social injustice that takes place all over the world. From the teens that I work with and others that I know, I know they can be a powerful force. But how do you teach them about all these negative things in the world? Not just that but those that involve sex, abortions, rape, violence, drugs, and countless other topics that you never want your children to have to hear about?