Dear Aunt B,
Columns & Editorials
In a world where we are finally waking up to something that, gasp, feels the tiniest bit like normalcy, I bring you a years ago tale of me, the world traveler (not) who attempted to fly from Dallas to Houston.
Over 20% of Americans are classified as illiterate or functionally illiterate. Roughly 70% of the nation’s 4th and 8th graders cannot read proficiently. Additionally, about 25% of high school graduates in America are functionally illiterate. That means, 1 in 4 graduates in the United States cannot read well enough to complete basic, everyday tasks that require reading.
If you can find one word in the original translation of the Holy Bible, that does not fit or does not belong there, then you can find two, or ten, or one hundred, or one thousand. If you claim that, then soon you can pick out the words that will make you feel good and discard the rest.
Dear Aunt B,
I have been a part the planning of a historic event since last September.
Dear Aunt B,
Being self-employed has some benefits: You get to choose your own hours, you don’t have to count “vacation days” and you’ll never worry about getting downsized. On the other hand, you’re truly on your own – there’s no employer-sponsored retirement plan and no benefits package. So, if you’ve recently started a business or become a “gig worker,” possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what can you do to get on the road to financial security?
A few days ago, I had the good fortune (Divine intervention) to run into a former student and his family. He is a young man with severe behavior problems and has difficulty in the school setting. When I met him, he was in fifth grade, he could barely read or write and was at least three grade levels behind academically. Now, he’s about 20 pounds heavier, a few inches taller, about five grade levels behind academically and still cannot read or write very well.
Dear Aunt B,
The problem with social media, if you ask me, which you certainly did not, is the voice lent to those who are all too happy to say the things they’d dare not say to another person, in person. The lure of anonymity is just too heady for some folks. In 1938, Orson Welles and his troop of actors went on the radio for a recitation of an HG Wells original novel “The War of the Worlds” on the series The Mercury Theater on Air. Except, they just acted out the scenes. They didn’t tell anyone this was a book of fiction about Martians taking over the earth. Panic ensued. People thought a performance, made and specifically engineered to upset others, was real. In a case of no harm, no foul, the FCC ruled that no laws were broken. Orson Welles landed a contract with a studio and wrote/produced/ directed/starred in Citizen Kane, while later reenacting his Martian moment on my favorite I Love Lucy episode. That’s my take on social media. Anyone can get their 15 minutes. They don’t even have to tell the truth. They just have to fool you. But, as with life, the good always comes with the bad, and vice versa. I cannot abandon social media because I have found so much pureness and goodness hiding in the tacky crevices. Take Canadian born Shina Novalinga, for instance. She’s been trending in my Instagram Reels lately. And, she’s making a big difference. To understand Shina’s Canadian experience, we must pay homage to 2 separate but connected travesties: The Sixties Scoop & the MMIW crisis. See, Shina Novalinga is a college student studying business management. But, that’s the last thing she’d tell you about herself. She wants you to know that she’s a proud Inuk. Where once she was ridiculed for embracing her Inuit customs, like the homemade parkas handcrafted by her mother and their art of throat singing, a custom that could easily have been lost, she’s focused on bringing her culture back to the forefront. But, in order to see where Shina is going, we have to examine where her culture has been. Remember when Austin Powers lost his mojo and had to time travel? We’re going back to the 60s.
FINALLY, IT LOOKS LIKE OUR GRANDKIDS’ DISNEY SUMMER IS HERE
As an educator in the public school system, I was never free to fully be me. I am a straight shooter, I take my role as an educator seriously, and I have little patience for foolishness of any kind in life, but I especially loathe foolery on the job. As an educator, I have the ability to effect the current and future lives of the children I serve. I don’t take that responsibility lightly and I don’t care to work around those who do. In my role as a special education teacher, I encountered many realities I call Uncomfortable Truths.
I have just listened to a song named “HE LOOKED BEYOND MY FAULTS AND SAW MY NEEDS”. When I started thinking about the message of that song a little tear tried to get out but I squeezed hard enough to keep it inside.