Challenges, trials, stepping stones, or bolders
29 August 2016
Those that know me will share that I am optimistic...except for when I am not. I always think the best of others, hope for the dream to become a reality and try- try-try each day, just like I tell my students.
March 2, 2016
Lately, I have been really angry, really frustrated and not sure why until it dawned on me that the reason I am so frustrated about what is happening to my students, their city and how as a society we treat the less fortunate--I have never seen, or heard, about so many celebrities coming to Flint to "do good." Don't get me wrong, if you are coming to really help in Flint, I say THANK YOU! (loud and proud), but if you are coming to put your name out there, (and its all about you) do us all a favor and please stay home. The challenges being faced are not going to be solved with 1,000 bottles of water. I have kids that still cannot shower safely at home, or bathe their children. Our kids cannot shower after gym class or after sporting events--nor can the other team, no shower after the game. Some of these challenges are due to the toxic water but most are due to the poverty in Flint. The transition into poverty started years ago when GM pulled out of the city and jobs went to far away places, like Mexico, Canada, and Finland. I still remember the fear of wondering where my next meal would come from after my single mom lost her job in the shop.
The Flint Community Schools is now in debt, the price paid for past leaders who wanted to live high on the hog, after the money was gone. My kids now pay the price. My kids that are at the bottom of society--the forgotten of society, the untouchable, the easily forgotten and written off. Like many urban settings where the kids are "written off," considered an acceptable loss in the whole scheme of things. I mean, lets keep it real, kids like mine take more time, take more money, take more love and more endurance from strong leaders, like me. I don't want to give up on my kids.
If you want a "better society" start supporting urban arts programming! Easy! Music, Song, Theatre, & Visual Arts will help give the tools to urban kids to help reinvent themselves into happy functioning adults. Will every kids magically be transformed into a Wall Street tycoon? No, probably not. But will my students find methods to cope, to grow, to trust--sure, I believe the fine arts can provide these tools--they did for me. Study after study tell us the value of the of the arts, but those in leadership still want to cut the arts first thing--put that testing first, make those kids out to be widgets in a factory, and stop believing they are kids are real people...that makes it all easy for someone, not my kids though. Hopefully the future will improve. Be a part of the change and support the arts!