Taking Back My Voice Part 3

Attending a conference in Mississippi. Went to a “honky tonk” bar with others of the conference for a night of Karaoke. Sang Johnny Cash “Jackson” because I was so ready to get back home. The locals enjoyed our performance. Getting in the car with a coworker, a older gentleman accosted us. “The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice” Key in hand.. pushed around the meth induced gentleman. Backing out of parking lot. He proceeds to expose himself to us. Rapidly moving his tongue back and forth, while summoning us to get out of the car. 

God kept me from hitting the gas to go  forward. 

#pussygotyourtongue #thoughtsareout 

Taking Back My Voice Part 2

A late night at a house party after a graduated college, with fellow alumni. A guy I met that night, he said he was a Pastor. We talked for awhile. He had a nice smile. He was interesting, he seemed…different. He said that parties weren’t his scene, because he was a “Man of the Cloth.” He drank from a Sonic cup. He promised it was just strawberry limeade. I went to the restroom. The whole house was dark, the only lights came from the strobe lights and the TV playing familiar songs and music videos. I walked out of the restroom and was suddenly pushed back in. It was him. He reeked of alcohol and strawberries. I fought in the darkness as he searched for parts of my body that were invisible.  He tried to cover my mouth. I slapped him. He laughed. I screamed for help. It was almost too late. I caused a scene. He was asked to leave. He left. He was an ImPastor.

#pussygotyourtongue #thoughtsareout

Taking Back my Voice: Part 1

The first time was my babysitter. I was three, but I remember. I knew it was wrong. Strict instructions for nap time did not mean that she had to be in bed with me. I remember waking up to her hand down my pants and on my thigh, and as I write these words, I shudder to think about what she did to me when I was asleep. I remember being on the couch next, her asking me “did this hurt?” Nodding…confused. I buried these instances and they always seemed to come back to haunt me when more cases occurred. There was no confrontation when I got older. She drowned at a public swimming pool a few years later. I remember being told about what happened, and my familys’ bewilderment at my utter lack of emotion. #Pussygotyourtongue #thoughtsareout


Migration to Better Education 

“I feel gooder, I can’t go home, because my dad says that I need to be at school to learn and I can’t learn if I miss a day of school.” A child said to me today after I was informed that she had just thrown up. 

Remember when we were children? When we got that little bubble of gas in our tummies and we rushed to the nurse or asked to go to the office in hopes that our parents would pick us up so we could go home and watch cartoons… 

Or when we were older, and could drive… And would take advantage of our privileges and be out if we weren’t feeling it? That feeling that you get when you are sitting at a desk at school. 

So when a 3rd grader, who has every reason to go home, pleads with me to stay because the importance of education has been drilled into her, I realized how much we take our opportunities for granted. 

Originally from Guatamala, this child’s parents arrived in the US in hopes of a better life. Much like MS, Guatamala has a high poverty rate. In Guatamala children as young as third grade choose work over school, because let’s face it, it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. 

Also, like the state of, MS The current state of education in Guatemala is significantly under-funded. Many classrooms nationwide, especially in rural Guatemala, do not meet minimum standards for many classroom space, teaching materials, classroom equipment and furniture, and water/sanitation.

Mississippi is not alone in these similarities. Our nation as a whole is substantially behind in education. In a nation where it’s against the law to not attend school, we have less graduation rates, high crime, high poverty, and less of the rising generation prepared to adequately participate in the workforce. 

So, on the news when I listen to the discussion of building a beautiful wall to keep others out, I think about what that will look like if it came to that.

We have people who are desperate to reach US soil, not to harm us, but to get crumbs of the pie that we, in retrospect have opportunities to receive the whole pie. 

So let’s take a moment and look at our education system, look at all who comprises it, look at the blessings we have as a country.

 We need to decide what we are going to be;rather we are sitting at the desk, or standing in front of it. 

Will you get sick and stay home? Will you call in?  Or will you see it through to the end, because you know that at the end of the lesson, there is a greater possibility that you can have more than the crumbs of the pie.