Friday, August 22, 2008

Taking My Mom

I received an email message yesterday notifying me that I had been selected to receive two credentials to Barack Obama's Acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium (Invesco Field) on Thursday, August 28, 2008.

I sat for a moment in my cubicle, staring at my monitor, absorbing the moment, feeling the tears well up in my eyes, listening to my heart beat as the lump rose from my chest to my throat. Memories of studying U.S. history and traveling to the east to stand for moments where it all happened raced through my mind. I have studied history, read about and analyzed events and social movements but at this moment, I realized I am not studying, reading, or researching - I am experiencing this absolutely monumental historical event.

When I had submitted my "application" for credentials, I was also allowed to submit a request for an additional credential. As I began to fill out the form I thought about who I should add. At first I began to type in my husband's name but I hesitated. I realized I needed to bring my mom.

My mom is 62 years old. She was a migrant farm worker as a child and achieved a 6th grade education. She attended segregated schools in Crystal City, TX because she spoke Spanish and she is brown. She was married at 15 and had her first child at 17 but throughout her life, my mom shared her political views with us and stood up for change and social justice.

She fought for farmworkers rights and access to healthcare. She advocated for an increase in the minimum wage and held her representatives accountable. There are times when I come home and I find Senator Salazar's number scribbled on the back of an envelope and I think to myself - poor Senator Salazar probably got a earfull from mom. In English or Spanish; she voices her opinion and never hesitates to stand for what she believes in and knows is right.

It is because of my mom and her passion for doing what is right that I am a Democrat. She has helped form my beliefs and I am honored to have my mom accompany me to Barack Obama's acceptance speech.

Mom, thank you for being true to yourself and to God. I love and admire you and I am honored to be able to be a part of history alongside you.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mind Race

It's 1:45 a.m. and I'm sitting here sipping on wine trying to unwind and shut my brain off so I can sleep. Insomnia has plagued me for years - 30 years to be exact. There were times when I was able to manage it but then there are times when there is nothing other than a dose of ambien that will shut me down. My mind races and I go over everything I should be doing in my head over and over again. I always think I could be doing more, I'm missing something, I can have a greater impact here, there, somewhere. I think about where I should focus, who needs my help, how much can I do, what more can I give without breaking. And then I take a frickin' three hour nap on a Saturday afternoon. I'm exhausted. Spent.

I sat in class from 7am to 9:30pm all week long. I woke up at 2am, 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. I read, and read, and read. I did practice assignments, I mulled over census data, I researched employment trends, education information, and demographics.

My mind wandered on occasion as I stared at my instructor's narrow hips thinking he may be a runner wondering what he would look like naked only to be turned off by the thought that he probably has a hairy back.

My only freedom. A brief fantasy. A short conversation in the hallway. A 45 minute drive home.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Teaching Math - Funny!

I had to share this funny email message I received today. Enjoy!

1. Teaching Math In 1950s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2. Teaching Math In 1960s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5 Teaching Math In 1990s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. )

6. Teaching Math In 2007
Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

Author Unknown

Beyond Our Racist Past

Yesterday I was teasing my conservative friends posting Barack Obama 2008 campaign pictures on their myspace comment boards and bulletins later to hear Obama swept Iowa.

My mom came upstairs to share the news with a slight smile. I could see it in her eyes. The doubt she held had dissipated. There was a brief moment of introspection quickly followed by a sigh of accomplishment. For that moment I could see she felt all the years of activism had finally paid off. Our country had moved beyond it's racist past and voted for a Black candidate based upon his values and promise to make a change.

I went to bed proud of my mom and proud to be her daughter. She has raised a liberal who has often felt the frustration of continued efforts to persuade apathatic and ignorant Americans. But the evening was ours.

I turned on Jay Marvin this morning to hear my fellow liberals discuss the Iowa results and couldn't help but burst out in a loud hoorah. I whooped and hollered to myself as I drove to my carpool and absorbed the moment. I held back tears that seldom fall.

Today is ours. Every liberal activist who has spent their lifetime educating others about racism, diversity, and multiculturalism can smile today and know our work has made a difference.

My faith has been restored. I will put my boots back on and pound that pavement once again to educate and inform those I had given up on.

Thank you Iowa.