Mar 18, 2012

Springtime in D.C.: One Version

What a knockout morning yesterday in D.C. was! 

Went to Arlington National Cemetery with my mother, a few of my aunts, an uncle, and two cousins (shut up ... we are not the Waltons!), where my Uncle Bo is laid to rest. So lovely and poignant, taking in the landscape of this national monument. 

Passed the marathon runners on the way over and back. Drove very, very slowly on Independence Ave. to gawk one more time at the King Memorial. 

Cherry blossoms circling the Tidal Basin. 

On M St. near the Navy Yard, two pre-teen boys in their Saturday clothes -- one black, one white -- running down the sidewalk like boys do. Running just to be running, all arms and legs.

On Penn. Ave. SE, signs of gentrification are no longer signs; that 'hood is now gentrified. But my aunt points at something across from the Yes! market: "The Morton's sign is still there." 

Chocolate City lives! So, please don't take down that sign!

Mar 15, 2012

There Is a Time for Teenagers

Consider this.

My angst-ridden, high-strung, unrefined, big-hearted students SAVED MY SANITY this week, as other realms of my life drifted into Bizarro World. It is not easy demanding a structured and disciplined learning environment when chaos seems to be the natural order of things. When the lines of authority and propriety are smeared almost to the extent of being invisible. When students and teachers are not friendly but are ... friends??? But how the efforts pay off when the students let you know:
Hey, we get it now, Ms. Matthews-Davis. We understand why. You teach! We appreciate it. We NEEDED this! You're getting us ready. 
I'm thinking, yeah, now I get it too, six long years after I started this teaching career. Six years that hit me hard, that had me pleading with the Almighty:
Look, God, what are you doing? When are you going to get me out of this? What was I thinking? What were you thinking?
Six years that I thought -- without exaggeration -- were killing me. But now I think I've got it. I can see why. I can see more clearly. My students have helped me see: there is a time, there is a season to every purpose under Heaven. They needed me to help move them to the next step. I needed them to do the same for me.