Sunday, January 24, 2010

It felt like a year, but was only about a minute

I think anyone who has never experienced an earthquake can truly imagine or understand what goes on in your mind while it is happening.  Most of us within the past week and a half have had more shocking footage fed to us with the help of technology through news and internet social media sites than ever before.  In some cases, it is inconsolable.

When I lived in Southern California from 2002-2005, I experienced a light 4.8 M earthquake September 3, 2002, but nonetheless, an earthquake.  I was living in Irvine with a family who rented me a room for $500 a month.  My bedroom was upstairs facing the street.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was sitting at my computer hutch and it was about midnight.  Not sure what I was doing up that night.  But I was up, on line surfing the net.

I actually heard it before I felt it. The walls grumbled.  Almost like someone was drag racing outside.  Before I knew it, my bedroom began to waggle.  I sat there thinking, "OK, the house is rocking from side to side.  I'm in an earthquake".  I became immobilized, eyes fixed on my monitor, in a complete daze.  I couldn't move.  It felt like eternity, thoughts flashing through my mind that if the earth split its belly open, I might get swallowed up.  Before I knew it, the house ceased moving, however, my computer monitor was still rocking back and forth.  It creaked.  I stared into the screen, but looked into nothingness.  I was jolted back into reality, grabbing the monitor so it would stop.  I doubt I was even breathing during the entire episode.  How could one think to breath with the thought of potential imminent death ensuing?  

My earthquake experience was nothing compared to that which happened about 5pm Tuesday January 12, 2010.  Not many people in this generation will ever forget that day.  I know I wont.  Trying to pull away from the "train wreck" and see something positive, I stumbled upon a CNN IReporter's behind the scence footage at JKF capturing the return of Americans on a flight from Miami to New York.  Her name is TonyaTko. 
The video is a bit long, but shares a variety of testimonies from the folks as they arrived back to New York.  I think I've seen a video or two of hers on youtube.  Be encouraged, be inspired, be filled with hope, but please know there is plenty work to be done.  Plenty. I gave $50 to the Red Cross last week.  I don't think this will be my last time giving.  Just gotta space it out.  If you can give, if only $5+, a week, a pay check, a month, please do. You can give to the Bush/Clinton Help For Haiti Fund or the Red Cross.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And she pleaded, Don't Cut Your Hair

My Sisterlocks are well known at my school, more amongst the students than the teachers.  In class, I get to educate the students about my hair, natural hair, types of locks, and especially the care and maintenance.  Boys and girls alike of all races ask lots of questions.

We had picture re-takes this past Thursday and on Monday night, I called myself shampooing, oiling (this Texas weather is crazy) and bantuing my locks to have a nice snazzy style for my pics and to have a good 6yr photo.  Well, I got tired/lazy and only bantu'd the front.  I didn't take a picture of what it looked like, because my camera is dead, but the kids immediately noticed the curls up front.  As usual, my AA boys and girls, mostly, "Ms. E., your I like your hair!"  They love, love, love, when I curl my locks or do something different other than free style.  I don't blame em.  I guess looking at me could get a little boring day after day with little or no changes other than wardrobe.

Two of my female students walked by looking in amazement commented how different my locks looked.  I swear, only the front 4 inches back were curly.  The back was pulled up into a pony tail, that oddly looked awfully long down my back that day.  One said, "Would you cut off your locks?"   I said, "I've thought about it and I might."  The other jumped in, "Don't cut off your hair!  They're so long!"  This one rarely talks, but had something to say about my pondering of cutting my locks.  Mind you both girls have perms, which they actually keep up and pulled back in ponys nicely.

But, there's something about long hair.  And I think as well, there's something about knowing that the long hair a black girl/woman sees as real, meaning that person's hair, is amazing.  I'm not going to lie, when I look at pictures of my locks or see the back in the mirror, I am truly amazed.  You have to  understand, I've had hair care drama my ENTIRE life.  Even before I knew what hair meant to me as a little black girl, I found out the hard way.

If you see how my hair looked straight, or with a bald fade, or with my Q-Braid extensions, you'd know it's been a journey.  From Day # 1 with my Sisterlocks to today, has been quite a journey.  So those of you who have daughters, neices, cousins, friends, don't preach, just model before them the love you have for your locks and having natural hair.  Show them you can be sexy, confident, educated, accomplished, and beautiful with your hair in its natural state.  And even if I decide to cut my locks one day, I do have the confidence to know it will indeed grow back as long as I want it to.

Those of you who teach or are around young children, especially girls, what has been your experience with them and your locks?  Please share.