September 26, 2016

Uneventful Days

I was not a very nice person today. I was snappy with my own kids and my students; I avoided people as best I could. I had a teacher meeting, a parent meeting, a social lunch and I taught two classes, but other than that I hunkered down and got work done, quietly and alone. My teeth were killing me and I am pretty sure I have some kind of nasal infection. I’m not feverish or sick in the normal sense, but my skull ached all day and caused me to be a bit cranky.

I got a lot of work done on my Learning 2.0 talk after school and when I got home tonight. I feel much better about that. Now to plan out the workshops and be ready to roll next week. I am pretty excited to be back in Ho Chi Minh City, to see old friends, connect with new teachers and enjoy one of my favorite cities. Although it looks like there is some flooding happening at the moment.

I was supposed to run today, but I took a much needed 30 min nap before I made the girls dinner.

Days like you make you appreciate the normal healthy days. So if you are not in any kind of physical pain, and you are not sick in anyway and feeling pretty healthy, take a moment to look away from your phone, or close your laptop, take a deep breath and enjoy this moment of good health. I am looking forward to joining you soon.

In other news, I can’t even imagine what the headlines will say about the debate tonight. Part of me is glad to be sleeping through it, although I will most likely watch the whole thing on Youtube tomorrow.

Every week, I look forward to the latest Atlanta episode. It is my favorite thing on TV these days.

I am stuck in a mediocre YA book and I am looking forward to powering through it this week, so I can get the latest Jonathan Saffron Foer book before my trip.

The Raiders win again and are 2-1. Big game in Baltimore next week, but like an idiot I have faith. The Niners are beyond bad and life is good.

This is my life these days. Even traveling to Vietnam has become routine. We have a two-week October break coming up and t will be nice time to relax and catch up with the kids. Not going anywhere, but looking forward to some long uneventful days.

September 25, 2016

There Is Something In There....

Still can’t get my race post articulated. Don’t know what I want to say or how I want to say it. I guess that for now I can boil it down to one sentence #blacklivesmatter. Full stop. It can’t be simpler than that, and yet trying to explain what that means to me and why I care about it, is taking up a lot of mental energy.

There is something in there about love and empathy and justice. About listening, understanding and believing people when they say they can’t breathe.

There is something in there about how a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. About fear and hatred and jealousy and colonialism and white supremacy and the war on drugs and James Baldwin and a centuries long struggle for identity and acceptance.

There is something in there about cultural appropriation and physical annihilation.

There is something in there about trying to understand and solidarity and segregation and poverty and incarceration and brutalization. About oppression and silence and civil and human rights. There is something in there about Sam Cook and Malcom X.

There is something in there about the right time to protest and the right kind of action. The master telling the slave when to talk and what to say and how to say it and where to say it, when all the slave needs is to be heard.

There is something in there about how the NFL and every player and coach and fan should sit down and hold hands, or raise their fist and force the flag and the anthem to reflect the values they claim to uphold.

There is something in there about the Daraja girls and when we say #blacklivesmatter it also includes them. Because let’s face it if they were in the US, they would be treated like second class citizens because America hates black people. If it didn’t it would stop killing them and putting them in jail. It would stop destroying their communities an ignoring them. If America didn’t hate black people who it would adhere to its constitution and treat everyone equal under the eyes of the law.

There is something in there about voting rights and Bull Connor. About 400 years of not yet, a bit longer, be patient. Don’t be so angry. Don’t kneel. Sing the anthem. Respect the flag that holds you down. Fight for the state that will put you in jail.

There is something in there about Muhammad Ali and, “ain’t no Vietcong ever called me nigger.”

There is something in there about how people are sceptical and need to be reminded that #blacklivesmatter. It is so engrained in their mind that black lives don’t matter that to admit that they might could bring the whole system down.

There is something in there about how small of a statement this is, but how much it affects those in power. Because if a life matters then you cannot destroy it with impunity. The acceptance of its worth is all it takes to treat it with respect, justice. Love. But our nation, the world cannot even bring themselves to say that #blacklivesmatter without some kind of qualifier. Because to admit that they matter is to face the cruel and unjust history of racism worldwide.

Like I said earlier, I am having a hard time articulating my thoughts. I remember as a kid watching movies about the civil rights era, being shocked by the audacity of racism so long ago. I wondered how I would act. What would I do? Would I drive to the south and march and be beaten for the right of human beings to be human beings? Not much has changed. The struggle continues. I sit behind this screen and squeeze out these tiny words, to try and say to the world that I hear. I see. I feel. I want to help, but not quite sure how.

September 24, 2016

Cranky Bowing Dad

Woke up cranky and yelled at the kids.

Went to Starbucks for breakfast and only one person as working so it took 40mins and we were late picking up Mairin. I almost lost my mind with rage.

We were late to Kaia’s sewing class. Everyone was on edge and it was terrible way to start Saturday morning. Driving against the clock all the way across town. Got their 23 mins late.

Headed over to Tanglin for some errands and then we were late to pick up Kaia, so more stress in traffic. Most of the morning was rushing to be late for a drop off or a pick up.

Came home for some lunch. Girls did cross stitch projects and Hama beads. We helped, but there was a lot of yelling and short tempers. Irons. Successes. Failures. Not sure who won or lost. Not sure what was learned.

Took a shower and headed to Changi Village for some bowling for Luke’s birthday. I was in a calm zone. Hit a few strikes.

Then Little Island Brewery. Pretzel. Fries. Salad. Beer. We stayed a while. Celebrating. Home a bit after midnight. Throat is still raw. I can barely talk, but the warm dark bed is calling and tomorrow is Sunday.