Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen and I didn't travel anywhere this year. Dad came by for a spell and hung out. Mom had plans over a cousin's house. We just chilled. I'm sure Christmas will be different.
We will however be heading to Dallas for our nephew's playoff game at Texas Stadium on Saturday. He's a Senior leading running back at Arlington Bowie. He's always had football in his heart starting at a young age. Travis is strong and has a lot of tenacity! Go Volunteers! Well, I thought I'd share a Thanksgiving pic. Tomorrow's my 5 yr anniversary! Another big post awaits!!!! Blessings...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kalee's getting married!

Jen and I are heading to Houston/Galveston for my god daughter's wedding on Saturday.
The older picture was taken almost 8 years ago when I had my 1st and last two-strand twists. I was so nervous heading home to Houston from Sacramento when I got my hair done. Everyone was used to me having braids in my hair alll the time. Of course three years later I got me some Sisterlocks. More updates when we return. Wish us safe traveling grace, please.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heading to CAMT in the morning! Plus Teaching Update

I'll be attending CAMT until Friday in Dallas and hope to bring back a lot of useful material to use with my students. I'll be rooming with some other teachers from another district at Hotel Lawrence but the meetings will be at the Sheraton, formally the Adam's Mark. I am thankful the school district's professional development department is helping me attend this much needed math conference. Thank you Dr. H. and WISD!

I realized I hadn't given an update on my students with their 7th Math TAKS test. We made our number, however our school is still rated unacceptable by TEA standards. We didn't meet the standard in another subject/grade level. Even though TEA closed down two of the four schools who were in the same situation as my school, the strides our students made across the board in all other subject areas didn't warrant closing our middle school. Whew! The kids worked really hard. I had only four students get commended, but many were eight or less questions from getting commended. The end of the year was easy breezy because the kids were feeling "so smart" because of their successes. We ended the year on a great note! I did have more than I wanted who failed, but most were to be expected from being a couple of grades below level, poor attendance, behavior, and a sour taste in their mouthes about Math I just couldn't sweeten them up on. I tried my best, and only anticipate more improvement from them next year and years to come.

One of the sweetest memories I'll have from my babies was having a few of them tell me constantly at the beginning of the year, and throughout the year for that matter, that they hated math and didn't understand why they had to do it. Some of those very same students not only passed their math TAKS test, but came to me before school ended and said, "Miss Evans, I used to didn't like math, but I kinda like it now. Thank you."

Well, to add more good news, a few who were over-aged went to accelerated summer school and will be skipped up to the 9th grade, their right grade in the fall. You don't want to know how many over-aged students I had. I think it's an epidemic. Nonetheless, you keep on striving, never giving up.

Not because I intended it or planned it, but by timing beyond my control, I was offered a transfer back to the school I subbed 8th Math/Algebra 1 long term back in the fall of '06. I will not be a grade level math teacher, but primarily focusing on TAKS Math & Reading. It will be a challenging assignment as I will have 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, for both Math and Reading. My biggest concern is that since this is only my 2nd year teaching, I'll be struggling to build up my supplies without having to constantly "borrow" other teachers' supplies.

With that being said, I am doing what I put off doing last year, which is having an "on-line" teacher shower. I'm asking for anyone who wants to "donate" to my supply fund, to do so by either my email address, mymk1070 @ paypal account, or by sending donations directly to the teacher supply places in town The Learning Center. I also find plenty of manipulatives and supplies at Mardel, Office Max and of course Walmart/Sam's. I lived in each of these stores, mostly dreaming of supplies I wished I could buy for my classroom and the kids. I know I gave probably a whole paycheck easily to them last year, cause it was just necessary. I know it will be the same because I'm not "taking" over another teacher's position, with their Math and Reading supplies on the shelf. That very thought scares me. My principal assures me that I can use anything in the "math closet", but for those of you who are teachers, you know that having your "own" TI graphing calculator is not the same as a teacher as "checking" one out. So for those who would like to share in my on-line "teacher shower, please do. I appreciate any help and thank you in advance. Blessings and good night!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Sisterlocks Slide Show

Here's a slide show from the beginning. There's lots of pics, but they move pretty fast. You can choose to view with music or mute sound. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

So much to little time

I can get a project done. My problem is, I get bored easily and find myself looking into doing something else. I know I have TONS of stuff on my plate (cleaning my house would be #1), however I get easily distracted. For instance, I have soooo many videos from previous lock gatherings that I wanted to upload. See a year or so ago we had this big idea to put something together to send to Oprah, with hopes she'd invite Dr. Cornwell on the show to talk about natural hair, specifically Sisterlocks and the such. Well, those many videos are hidden on my external hard drive feeling much neglect. So as a forewarning, those of you ladies who volunteered to allow me to video you, just know that you will see some "way back" videos of your own hair, which will give testimony of how far you've come from. Sooo, please be patient with me. With that being said, I planned on doing a good ole' video of my 2, 3, and 4 yr mark and it never transpired. I did however find a sister who posted someone's 4 yr anniversary on her blog and it gave me inspiration to get something accomplished this summer while I have a little time off. So, here's the video. Enjoy! And look for something from me in the near or distant future. Peace...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I was getting a little nervous

Most bloggers, like myself, who like to have a big intro or pics/slideshows at the top of their blogs may now see future dating when they publish. I used it last weekend and thought it was pretty cool, to do a double post and spread it out over a span of time. Then I was wondering if it would impede my having a future post that would only be "scheduled" and not "planned" as a current post with a future date. I went to the Blogger Buzz and found the updated info on the new changes. Check it out here!

And by the way, it's 8:51AM and I'll be "future" posting this tonight!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Did Garrett Morgan ruin Black Women's Minds and Hair?

I've been meaning to do some google research on the damaging effects of chemical relaxers for the longest and found this website.
It discusses some little known history of chemical relaxers.
So a black inventor was the forerunner of an industry now dominated by non-blacks?

Like Arsenio Hall used to say, on his Nightly TV Show,

It's one of those things that make you go

" Hum-mmm " ..... !

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Locked Wedding Styles & Engagement Photo shoots

Since Jen and I are trying to get our side gig of event photography going, I check in from time to time with Knight Photography, out of Atlanta. Knight is phenomenal and knows how to capture moments with beauty and simplicity. He is a professional wedding photographer, which Jen and I aren't aspiring to be. However, he shares not only tips and fantastic photos, but creative shots, especially the engagement shoots, which Jen and I have and will do.

So we came across a lady who had locks. They looked like Sisterlocks, but could have well been smaller Traditional locs. To my amazement, they were renewing their vows after 30 years! You can check out their pics HERE and see how the bride donned her crown for the special event. Here's an New York engagement session he took and the couple both had locks down their back! I'm really curious as to how both of them will be wearing their locks on the wedding day.

Here's a fotki album of a wedding couple who both are rocking naturals. Real Nice!!!

My god-daughter Kalee is getting married in August. I drove down to San Antonio on Spring Break to take engagement photos of her and her fiancé. I'll be sharing a few shots below for your viewing pleasure soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Retightening: From Spaghetti to Worms

Jen got a picture or two of my hair at almost 54 months (4 1/2 yrs) yesterday after we took Mom out to Cheddar's for Mother's Day dinner. Jen kept saying, "girl your hair is long!!!!" The second picture was really telling when compared to the back view of my hair on day one.

Now I'm half way finished retightening my hair and need to be finishing up the top right now, but I had to blog about one of my student's comments about my hair this morning. I'd spent dang near all day on Friday with this girl along with about 9 others at Six Flags, and I spend approximately 135 minutes a day with her (675 minutes a week with her as well) because she's in my advisory and double booked class. She's Hispanic and has been quite fascinated with my hair; she's touched it, played in it, read the SL Journals, and the whole nine yards.

Well this morning, she comes behind me during our transition period and starts touching my hair. I say nothing of it cause I don't trip. She then proceeds to say, "Miss E's hair looks like spaghetti." I kinda ignore her cause it wasn't necessary to correct her, IMO. A few kids make some nervous snickers, thinking the comment would make me mad. She comes from around me and sits right in front of me and then says, "Miss E's hair looks like worms." Now, not only does she have my attention, but the attention of the whole class. I just stop and look at her. The kids are cutting their eyes between me and the student wondering what I was gonna say. The stare lasted longer than she could manage and then she tucked her head and said, "I'm sorry Miss E."

With the exception of a few "mixed" kids and the Hispanic girls, my hair is probably the longest at my school. We have lots of braids, lace-fronts, weaves, "twig tails", extensions and the like, but my kids and most adults know my hair is real. The other kids looked a little offended cause what she said was uncalled for. I'm sure my hair has gotten called worse things behind closed doors.

But it does lend for some sort of truth. If your locks start to mature, they will begin to look tubular and round, like say spaghetti or indeed worms. So, I guess in the eyes and opinions of locked folks, I imagine you could say she gave me a compliment. Whatever the case, I guess I'm glad she had the comfortableness or blind ignorance to say it to my face. Had she said it elsewhere, she may not have been gently rebuked. Oh well. Here's how my hair was today. I've worn it like this many times before because it's easy to put up and hair is not in my face.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last Minute Math TAKS Test Help

The 8th graders at my school got their results back from their May 3rd Math test. Over 60% passed, and unfortunately there were those who weren't quite so fortunate. Tears fell as emotions of disappointment covered those who will have to try next month to prove they should pass on to the 9th grade with a re-test.

As for my babies, they are trudging along. We are ALL tired, and I have the bags under my eyes to prove it. I'm guessing things will settle down and get somewhat back to normal for me after next Tuesday, which is the day 6th and 7th graders take their TAKS Math test. The 6th and 7th grade reading test is the following day. Please pray for all children who will be judged by standardized tests across the nation this and next month.

If anyone has a loved one who'd like access to a plethora of Math links and videos, then visit my Pass 6-8th Grade TAKS Math Blog.

And as far as Sisterlocks updates on month 53, you can check out my fotki. I did a perm rod set last week that came out kind of interesting. Next time, I'll stay under the dryer longer for my curls to hold longer than a week. I'll be retightening soon! Much blessings.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Barack Obama

I get such a good feeling inside whenever I hear this man speak or see how he handles himself in public. When I think of Barack Obama, I think of the word resilient. As most folks who've been a little disconnected and disenchanted with politics over the years, I too have been rejuvenated by history in the making. I have to check in on "the three" every night on-line before I hit the sack. April 22th should prove to be quite interesting to say the least. For those who will, please pray for our nation and our presidential candidates.
US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ...

Articles and news about Obama:
Frank Schaeffer's article about Pastor Jeremiah Wright & Christians

Blacks for Barack
AOL-Black Voices- Election Blogs

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Watch out for Crazies, including yourself

As I peruse through blogs (mostly on the LHBE) when I want a little down time reading between grading papers or planning lessons, I find that I must "re-post" a portion of my bloggin' help to my fellow blog family on line community.
Now I'm not trying to tell anyone how to run their blog... But good advice and feedback can be healthy. Case in point... I don't know about you, but if a dentist tells me to floss regularly
Gently guide floss between the teethbecause it is as important as brushing your teeth, he/she means it. It may not make a lick of sense, even to grown folks, but it's advice that should be taken. This portion below, IMHO should be taken as well:

Watch out for Crazies, including yourself.
Unfortunately there will be some bloggers new to the scene who visit other's blogs just to start confusion. I've seen it before and thankfully have experienced it rarely in my blogs. They probably didn't read this blog post nor researched on-line about how to conduct yourself as a blogger who has blog nettiquite.

If you stumble upon a blog that you don't like, do yourself a favor and #1 DO NOT comment on what you don't like, and #2 NEVER visit that blog again.

For the most part, the bloggers won't know how you feel, and it's best to just keep it to yourself. Don't go visiting someone's blog to "check" them. Leave them alone. There have been some ugly "cyber cat fights" on line and it's just a shame and a hot mess. If you are a rabble rouser in public, then I'm sure you're gonna start mess on line. Some folks just like drama and have no problem seeking on line. Go back and look at your blog, and if it has more of a negative, complaining, antagonistic spirit about it, you must know that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth (blog) speaks". So watch out for Crazies, including yourself.

My personal suggestion is, if you have a post that may be incendiary, which most of you know what views are highly sensitive to others in our community, make a disclaimer in the post that if one doesn't agree, then push on, which I've seen and adhered to myself on many occasions. If you have a post that has gotten out of control with feedback, especially if it is unwanted, cease and desist. Draft that blog post and get back to enjoying posting and receiving healthy comments in your blog. As a matter of fact, I'll draft this post after some dust settles down, which is my prayer.

Much love and blessings...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do you know who Desreta Jackson is?

While finishing the final one hour stretch to complete retightening my hair this afternoon (yah!!!), Jen popped in The Color Purple. As usual, trillions of emotions rose throughout this movie as it always has whenever we watch it. I laughed, I cried, I mouthed famous lines, thinking of Tyler Perry and how he loves to use Oprah (Sophia's) lines in his plays. The DVD we have is the 2-disc collection that has behind the scene interviews with Alice Walker, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones and others in the cast. As always, the thought to google the "unknowns" comes to mind and I made sure today, I did such. If you know who actress Desreta Jackson is, then you are a true Color Purple fan. I was quite amazed to find out that when the movie was shot in 84, Desreta was about 12 years old. I was 14 at the time so that puts her at about 35ish. The last film on record she played in was Sister Act II. Not sure if Whoopi gave her the "hook-up" or if she had to audition on her own. She looks good and also has a myspace. Not bad for an all grown up young Celie Harris Johnson. She's doing her thang, and I ain't mad at her. It's funny how folks have to get on with their lives. And you never know who will make it "big" and who wont. I often wondered since her role was so negatively portrayed at that time if it would hinder her acting career. Only she knows and will tell. I will say she's not on the extras disc as many other key characters, such as Akosua Busia, (Nettie) are who were located and interviewed.

***Update on Desreta Jackson***
An online interview with Desreta Jackson and BET was posted February 2009. Read the interview here and get many many questions answered as well as see what she's up do these days. Thanks Christine!!!

That leads me to say how I believe my plan for this summer will be to get back to writing. I have too many good stories stored up inside me, waiting to be freed to the masses. Last summer I spent my tax refund money to go to Mexico to study Spanish. This summer, I'm leaning strongly towards hiding out to write. We shall see.

Jen suggested I bantu knot my hair for my Spring Break traveling to see friends and loved ones in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Here's what my length looks like along with my bantus. The longer my hair gets, the harder it is to bantu. I'm curious to see how this is going to turn out.

You can see some comparison shots of my length from the back in my fotki. I'm glad I took those pics because it shows how far I've traveled on this journey.

OK, I needed to add the results of my bantus. Here they are....
This picture was taken in the evening of 3-21-08. The curls from the bantu knots are tight!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Oldie but goodie-Help for New Bloggers

One year ago today, I created a post about helping those new to blogging get started. I updated that blog post to help out all those new bloggers who have been inspired to share their journeys on line. Since I usually get 1st dibs at a lot of new bloggers who want to join the LHBE, I often send them to my post on how to get started, the right way, IMO. Many of them say they were inspired to document their journey to be an inspiration like many others who've shared their stories. They also find out quickly that blogging takes work, dedication and commitment. In reflection from some of the things I've seen on line and my own experiences, I think it's a good read for even us "old timers" as well. I had to remind myself of a few things I'd forgotten.

OAN, I lost all my email accounts and have to start over. If you've been trying to email me off line, the old email addresses won't work. I can be reached at maryeepc at gmail dot com. Teaching has consumed a lot of my time and I'll try and post perhaps monthly. Until then, enjoy an old post that should provide a little inspiration for us bloggers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I do photography

When the dust settles from teaching, perhaps over the summer, Jen and I can get our digital photography business up and running. We're getting all our equipment and gear together; we just need to get the dang business plan written so we can have our pricing firm. Until then, we'll just practice on each other. Here's some of my recent work. Make sure you turn your speakers up when you click on the remix. I think I did a good job if you ask me. Well, don't ask me, just let me know what you think. J's just so photogenic. Happy New Year!