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Showing posts from June, 2019

Many Voices, Many Rooms: Week 3

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Highlight of the Week

The highlight this week is a podcast called "The Nod," dedicated to "telling the stories of Black life that don't get told anywhere else." Hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, this podcast is sometimes funny, sometimes challenging, and always entertaining and educational. Some of my favorite episodes are: "One-On-One," in which a young woman tells the story of how she reinvents her relationship with her dad after she stops playing basketball; "Rapper's Dismay" tells the story of a fifteen year old boy who uses argumentative writing to shine a light on redlining and oppression in his community (during my student teaching I used this episode with my students and they were rapt); and any episode featuring the game "Six Degrees of Black Separation." Maybe the most stirring episode I listened to was, "I am a White Woman," a review of the movie "White Chicks." Uncomfortable and important,…

Many Voices, Many Rooms: Week 2

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Highlight of the Week

My number one highlight this week is, without a doubt, "The Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler. An African American Sci-Fi writer, Butler wrote this freakishly prescient book (The New Yorker describes it as, "Octavia Butler’s Prescient Vision of a Zealot Elected to 'Make AmericaGreat Again'") in 1993, but reading it feels like looking into our near future a few years before it happens. If you are a secondary ELA teacher, this is the perfect book to replace "1984", "The Handmaid's Tale," or any dystopian novel you normally teach. Featuring a young African American female hero you can't help but fall in love with and root for, this is one of the best books I have read in years.


Other Highlights

Always Be My Maybe - A heart-warming romcom starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, this movie earned a solid 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and was the perfect way to spend a vacation evening with my sister having a girl…

Many Voices, Many Rooms: Week 1

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This week I worked on decolonizing the stack of books beside my bed, my Netflix queue, and my podcast feed. Here is what I have been reading, watching, and listening to this week:

 Highlight of the Week

My reading, watching, listening highlight this week is the Netflix show “On My Block,” described on IMDB as,"A coming-of-age story about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles.” This show features four excellent young actors and has a lot of heart. It’s not without its problems: the character called “Jasmine” plays into a lot of stereotypes about Latinas in the inner city and [spoiler alert] the fact that Jamal actually finds the Roller World money borders on the fantastical, but for me the importance of the show is summed up in one line from Cesar, “They don’t think we’re real. They think we’re a costume.” I believe that all evil that happens between humans starts with a dehumanizing of “the…

Many Voices, Many Rooms: A Multicultural Summer Reading, Watching, Listening Challenge

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I recently finished a graduate program in teaching (which is why you haven’t heard from me on the blog in awhile...) and will be graduating on June 16th with a Master in Teaching degree from Seattle University. One of the topics we covered was the desperate need in this country for a more inclusive, multicultural curriculum. As a white person, the need for representation in the curriculum was something I hadn’t had to think about before because my stories  - or at least the stories of my white male ancestors - were represented in the curriculum, but in order to engage students (ALL students), they need to see themselves in the curriculum, they need to hear their stories and the stories of their ancestors.

How do we do that? 

One of the things I have really been looking forward to about finishing this program (besides working with kids in schools) is the opportunity to read for pleasure again. I really miss picking up a good book and diving into another person’s world. As I perused my “…