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  1. Integrated Minds

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016





    For a long time, I often wondered how gay people could be practicing Catholics or how women can be police officers or soldiers when their "own" are as dangerous to them as the perceived enemy.  I have wondered what black police officers feel about their peers and their jobs.  I'm not talking about black people who forgot where they came from or women who don't appreciate real women.  I'm talking about those whose many positions in life are connected, integrated, and not compartmentalized.

    I am a teacher.  I come from the poor working class until my Grandpa passed away.  Then we were on welfare.  At 17, I was thrown out of my grandmother's apartment because I was dating a black man, didn't lie about it, nor did I feel wrong.  Now I am the working struggling class.  I went to college living on a top floor walk-up, eating creamed cheese sandwiches for many meals.  I had hope.  Then Reagan became president, and rents quadrupled or more.

    My students are adults who also had challenging lives and didn't get to finish high school.  We connect rather easily.  We generally do well together.  Other teachers have puzzled over what I "do in my room" that I generally have good attendance, students making academic progress, laughter in the classroom.  I don't know how to get across to those teachers that it isn't what I do as much as how I am and what I don't do.  Many teachers have much more interesting well planned lessons than I do, but what I do tends to go in because of the relationship.  I don't work in the Bronx to convince myself I'm a progressive person while snickering at those who live here.  I live here and work in my borough.  A student once told me, "Mindy, you don't change because you are real."  Moments like that take a permanent place in my heart.

    As a teacher in the Bronx, I often have felt our students would be better off if the bigoted do-gooders stayed in their own communities because as skillful as they may be in their craft, they bring their bigotry with them while believing they don't.  It does its damage.  I have often felt my insides screaming, "Why are you in this field? Go sell real estate!"

    This is someone I feel in sync with.  Her worlds are integrated.

    One black female police officer's response to what's going on ...

    Tears rolled down my face as I watched.  Yet it felt comforting that other sincere people exist, mean what they say, and live an authentic life.  

    On a positive note, I was uplifted by seeing what some younger women are doing with their intelligence, talent, and concern about others.  Enjoy!

    http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/news/features/2016/07/05/spice-girls-wannabe-song-remade-by-project-everyone


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