Categories
Haiku Poems Poetry

Sips of life

Sitting on my shelf

Is an eclectic collection

Of various mugs

Chipped, bruised, and faded

Or beautiful and pristine

Squat and short, tall and lean

Representing a moment

A collection of past lives.

Past jobs, past people

Past holidays and vacations

The cups tell a story

In sips.

Categories
Current Events Haiku Poems Poetry

Platforms

Art is political

You can’t convince me differently

Because at heart, art

Is an argument

Artists want you to feel or

Think or see one way

The picture is cropped

Colors are chosen carefully

Scenes are deleted

Yet, we are silent

When it comes to disaster

Art doesn’t pay well

And we’re scared to speak

When we should be scared

To stay silent.

Categories
Education History Poetry Teaching

Essays

The typing of keys

The rustling of paper notes

Soft murmured questions

Intensity’s high

When students are writing

Categories
Current Events Education Haiku History Poetry

Dark

States are banning books

900,000 are dead

Now, the GOP

Have, of course, declared

Events of January 6

“Legitimate discourse”

2024

Is barreling fast toward us

A darkness is brewing

A darkness is brewing

Categories
Current Events Education History Poetry Teaching

Systemic Cycles

You may not know this.

But…in 1931,

The US started

Deporting citizens.

American citizens

Were rounded up and shipped out

It seems crazy right?

I’m talking about

People of Hispanic descent

Most had been born here

Why did this happen?

I’m so very glad you asked

The reason is bad…

The Great Depression happened

The US decided

To stop caring for citizens

Of certain origin

History matters.

Those who want to hide history

Want to make damn sure

It’s repeatable.

Don’t fall for the rhetoric

Teach real history.

Categories
Education History

The Causes of the American Revolution

As Told by Gifs (Part 1)

Have you ever woken up and really wished that there were a way you could learn about the American Revolution that spoke to you? Never fear, The American Revolution as told by GIFS is here!

Let’s start at the beginning. Britain, France, and the 13 Colonies end the 7 Year War in 1763 after—you guessed it— 7 years. A lot happened in this war, but the TL;DR version is that it cost Britain a shit ton of money, and resulted in the Proclamation Line of 1763 which didn’t allow colonists to go steal more Indigenous lands. But…if you’ve ever met a colonist…

After the war, which also took place in Europe by the way, stop buying into American Exceptionalism…

Britain was basically broke and since they went into debt partially by fighting the French for the American Colonists, Parliament turned to the 13 Colonies for help.

As you can imagine, the 13 colonies didn’t love that too much.

Let’s talk for a minute about the different taxes that Britain tried to impose. Actually, jk, it doesn’t matter because the colonists whined so much about the taxes that Britain repealed all of the laws.

…except one.

I want to be really clear here. The tea tax was the final tax imposed on the colonists, and it mainly hit the merchants buying the tea from Britain (though consumer prices went up, of course, because capitalism). Also, there were more regulations so people couldn’t bootleg tea anymore. Britain thought they were awesome. They’d finally made a tax that was going to stick, no one could possibly be angry!

I mean, I don’t want to belabor the point but…have you ever met a colonist?

This group of kids called the Sons of Liberty, which, by the way, would be described as Anti-Fa now, decided they were really going to stick it to the British and their tea tax.

And thus, we have the Boston Tea Party. I’ve included a dramatic recreation for you below.

The tea party, as fun as it sounds, actually cost the Brits a whole lot of money. Millions of dollars worth of tea was destroyed. My favorite part is that the Sons of Liberty trolled around the harbor for the next day or so, making sure no one came to steal any of the floating tea.

The Brits, of course, were super pissed.

The Boston Tea Party led directly to the Intolerable Acts…but you’ll have to tune in to part two for that.

Categories
Current Events Education Haiku History Poetry

Learning is Radical

“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility” — bell hooks

The classroom spaces

Are under attack right now

To try to stop change

Education is

A powerful thing for kids

And adults alike

A lack of knowledge

Means keeping the status quo

While education

Means moving forward

We can not afford to stop

We must keep teaching.

Categories
Current Events Education History

The Weaponization of Gossip

In the workplace, it’s really about control.

If you’re a woman, perhaps you’ve been told you’re a gossip. Or, you’ve been warned against gossip. Perhaps you’ve even been forced to watch Tedx clips about why you shouldn’t gossip at work, given to you by some dude on the internet.

The term “gossip” tends to be a phrase that uniquely targets women, and the way in which women interact with one another. It carries a negative connotation, and people often consider gossiping as “bad.” In Puritan New England, gossip was called “gadding about”, even Martha Ballard, that great New England midwife, called herself a gadder. Probably because she had all the juicy details of everyone’s lives (and could testify in court if a woman named the father of an illegitimate child on her birthing bed).

Now, we call gossip “spilling the tea” or “hot gos” or, simply, “chatting.” Whatever you call it, it’s usually targeted at female groups, and, occasionally, used as a weapon within workplaces.

The Weaponization of Gossip

Some workplaces, usually female centered (though not always), attempt to “ban” gossip. It’s actually something I’ve heard a lot from fellow teachers discussing their workplace conditions. The problem with this is that gossip is a hugely broad term, and may be defined as anything “negative.”

By defining any negative speak as “gossip” and therefore banned within the workplace, it prevents women (or anyone), from discussing workplace problems or issues. In a world where male administrators may not listen to the concerns of their female colleagues, this is problematic. Additionally, a “ban” on gossip may create a culture of fear — where you may be worried to tell someone about a problem for fear of “being negative” and getting reported. It’s like, McCarthyism, but at work!

The fear of being perceived as “negative” prevents people from perhaps discussing important topics like, oh I don’t know, wages, harassment, internal policies, or other things that employees may want to take collective action on. A ban on gossip harms everyone, but can be especially harmful for any BIPOC employees. Bias is real.

And, there’s the rub. It’s that collective action part that administrators or bosses want to prevent.

Ok…so what?

So, what can you do? Well, obviously, the answer is to gossip about it. Because often what employers deem as gossip…is not actually gossip.

At its core, gossip is information. Information about time, work, pay, conditions, experiences. Information is powerful and information is almost always used as an avenue of change. On the flip side any attempt to control or hide information is almost always used to stagnate and maintain power.

So talk my friend. Spill the beans, the tea, gad about, chat, discuss, laugh, get angry, get sad, get happy and importantly — share information. Stay powerful.

Categories
Current Events Haiku Poetry

The right to choose?

Haiku Review Saturday

Expensive Healthcare

Equals expensive birthing

AND body damage

Birth control access

Is easier than it was

Barriers exist

Doctors prescribe it

What if you have no doctor?

Or no insurance?

Well, there are options

Example: planned parenthood

But…there’s defunding

Rollback of Roe/wade

A dangerous precedent

All about control…

Categories
Current Events History

Thanksgiving Legacies Parades Never Taught You: The Sequel

King Phillip’s War

When last we saw each other, I had just told you the story of the Pequot Massacre. Taking place in the 1630’s, the Massacre occurred a little over a decade after the first Thanksgiving, and was responsible for the death of hundreds of Pequot men, women, and children, and the enslavement of hundreds more.

Fast forward to the winter of 1675, Plymouth, Massachusetts. The body of John Sassamon is found, killed and frozen. John Sassamon is A Wampanoag Christian, and educated at Harvard. He therefore represents a bridge. He’s a man straddling two cultures in the borderland of colonial America. And now, he’s dead.

Metacom, aka King Phillip, and his men are implicated in the death. This is where the whole Thanksgiving tie-in is made. You see, Massasoit, Metacom’s father, was part of the first Thanksgiving, and made an “alliance of mutual defense” in 1621 with Governor John Carver, leader of the newly established Plymouth Colony.

Now, however, Massasoit is long dead and Metacom is faced with increasingly imbalanced interactions with the colonists. Metacom, like his father, had entered into various peace agreements with the Brits, but he saw these treaties as mutual while the colonists saw the agreements as Indigenous submission. After the death of John Sassamon, the colonists arrest, try, and kill three of Metacom’s men in British court. I want to be clear, this was British justice, not Indigenous justice and it’s a final straw for Metacom. So, he strikes back, killing nine people in the town of Swansea.

And this is the spark that becomes King Phillips war.

Unlike the Pequot Massacre, this was an all out war between various Indigenous groups and the colonists. This war has far reaching ramifications for both the Indigenous nations in New England, and the colonists. The fighting lasted about fourteen months, and by the end of it most of the Indigenous nations in the area had been pulled into the conflict. The colonists often demanded that Indigenous nations trying to stay neutral prove their neutrality by giving up their weapons, and when they refused, they’d be attacked (see the Great Swamp Massacre). Some Indigenous nations, looking to secure their land and trading rights, sided with the British. In the end, Metacom and his followers were routed and Metacom was killed. At least 3000 Indigenous men, women, and children died, along with roughly 900 colonists. The British colonists sold thousands more Indigenous peoples into slavery. According to the American YAWP Indigenous nations “comprised roughly 25 percent of New England’s population; a decade later, they made up perhaps 10 percent.” The war was brutal, and with the death and enslavement of so many Indigenous peoples, it also secured the Puritans’ foothold in the Americas.

Ok…So What?

Most people don’t know the story of King Phillip’s War. They don’t really even know who was at the first Thanksgiving — preferring instead to stay safe and comfortable in the warmth that a lack of knowledge brings–however, history doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and the aftermath of Thanksgiving is as important as the day itself.

Metacom, or King Phillip, was part of the legacy of that first Dinner of Thanks. His people were forever changed by the landing of Pilgrims in Plymouth, and our American history has been informed by the romanticization that Pilgrims/Puritans and Indigenous nations “got along” and “helped each other” out.

When in reality, that first Thanksgiving ushered in hundreds of years of violence, slavery, and displacement. What we call nostalgia, Indigenous Americans call a day of mourning. This is the 400th anniversary of that particular feast (which actually took place in late summer so like..that anniversary has technically past). As we sit down to our squash pies, and cranberry sauce — indigenous foods, by the way– we should be very aware of the legacy of destruction that comes with Thanksgiving. Moving forward, we must not only be cognizant of the history, but willing to take steps to right the wrongs of our past.

Because, you see, you can’t be proud of your ancestors while trying to distance yourself from their wrongdoings. You can’t literally have your pie, and eat it too.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe - BettyCrocker.com
There weren’t pumpkin pies either. The Pilgrims didn’t have an oven.