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The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

They say when things get tough, that’s when you see people’s true colors.

In each of my trials, I’ve been shown the “true colors” of my friends.  I’m lucky to have so many good friends.  I appreciate all the calls, messages, shows of support, and offers to hang out now that I’m stateside again.  And, I truly appreciate my online friends as much as my in-person friends. 

Blog of many colors

Right now I’m coming to grips with how this atrocity even happened.  I was handling all that Mother Nature was dishing out; no electricity, no running water, violent storms, horrendous heat, Typhoid Fever, with a fair amount of grace I think.  And then without warning, at the end of my weakest state, John Goosen went on an unprovoked ape-shit rampage and decided to fling me around like a rag doll to make me listen to his drunken rant.

Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  That’s normal.  I write more on my good days, but lately it’s writing about my bad days.  That’s also normal.

I value being able to read through other blogs to see the uplifting and helpful information out there.  Feeling like there is a community of people who understand the process I am going through is so wonderful.  Sometimes it can be difficult for my in-person friends to understand.

And then there is always the hope that through this blog someone else can be helped as I work through everything and keep living the day to day as well.  Life goes on and this is how I’m trying to learn as I go.

All the Colors change

Once something traumatic has happened, you see the world differently.  I see the world differently.  Not better or worse, just different.  Things that were once important aren’t any more.  Things that weren’t important suddenly are.  Everything is colored a little differently.

Different or not, I’m still trying to walk through this world. I’m still trying to learn from this and become a better person for it.  I still see the beauty in the sunrises and sunsets.  I love listening to the birds in the morning and the coyotes in the evenings.  I enjoy conversations, cold beers, painting, reading, laughing.

But behind it all I’m trying to find my voice, give voice to those who don’t have it, and blaze a trail for change.

I pick at and piece through the trash pile that is the ways abusers work.  It is alarming how often I pick up a piece of that trash and think, “Oh, that looks familiar, that must be mine.”  Only to turn it over and see an Abuser’s name on it. It’s a bit disheartening to see how pervasive the blaming/ shaming way we treat victims is. 

For example, we all have heard “there’s a way victim’s walk, or hold their head, or (….) that clues abusers in that they are a good target”.

First,

and I want to scream this at the top of my lungs,

NO ONE SHOULD EVER. BE. A. TARGET. 

It doesn’t flipping matter if PersonX walks around with a real sign that says, “I let people abuse me”, PersonX should not get abused.  PersonX should not be a target.  PersonX should feel and be safe.  End of story.  Even if the sign has shiny flashy lights with arrows.

No one should be a target.

Think about that for a minute.  If PersonX has poor self-esteem, (and that shows through their posture), there are people out there who are compelled to hurt PersonX because of it.  Abusers look for people who already feel inferior, then Abusers humiliate them, isolate them, manipulate their emotions, make them feel crazy, makes others think they’re crazy. 

And instead of denouncing the Abuser, instead of stopping the Abuser from finding and hurting others, the general population looks at PersonX and says, “hold your head up more, walk straighter so abusers won’t target you”.  Everything gets shifted over to PersonX.

Why are people so afraid of Abusers that they can’t stand up to them?  I stood alone in trying to get people to see see John Goosen as an abuser.  The other people in Mozambique were so afraid to stand up to him.  He needed to work. He needed his space.  It wasn’t good what he did, but he’s sorry.  He needs medication.

Not a single person, other than myself, looked at him and called him out.  Not one person actually stood up to him, except me.     

It has been enlightening to say the least, to realize every single person I’ve discussed abusive situations with has given ways to change PersonX.

Ex:   “I’d try to get them alone to tell them I could help them if they leave the abuser.”

“Abuser has a (…) problem.  PersonX needs to be more understanding.  I mean get away, but then they need to worry about themselves, not Abuser.  Good riddance, they can deal with themselves”

“If you just tell them to leave, they say ‘it’s only one time’, or ‘Abuser loves me’.  You have to give them little examples how to leave without really saying they need to.”

“I don’t understand why PersonX would go back after that.  PersonX needs to get their head examined.”

Not a single person suggested that the Abuser needs to change. 

The Abuser straight up thought, “Hey PersonX looks (insert adjective of choice ie, lonely, sad, etc.).  If I make them a little less (adjective) they’ll take any shit I dish out.”  “If you feel bad, I want to make you feel worse.”  “And I’m going to make you and everyone else think it’s your fault.”

And everybody else thinks, “PersonX should’ve made themselves look less like a victim.”

This is what abusers do.  They work the whole scenario from the beginning.  From the initial lure to the end, everything and everyone in their environment is part of the set up to get off scott-free.

Our True Colors

I think we are so entrenched, as a general population, in generations upon generations of dysfunctional families, war torn memories, secrets, and lies that we don’t even know how to see the first red flags anymore.  Abusers have done such a trick on the mainstream psyche that when we finally see the red flags, we all point fingers at the victims.

But how can we stop the abuse from happening if we start at the end?

What do you think? 

As you’ve heard/ read my and other stories, how many times have you asked the ‘questions of change’ to the victim rather than the abuser? 

How can we change that scenario?  How can we really stop abuse if we don’t change it?

 

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Albuquerque – I’m not sure how I feel about you

The fire burning on the mountain is a little scary.  But looking at the mountains every morning is amazing!

It’s been a trippy, crazy, and not-quite-over ride since returning home from Prague.  Though not in my original plan, I have been back in New Mexico for just over a week now.   I have managed to accumulate 3 job offers and still have one on the way.  I also have another that I haven’t heard from, that I’m expecting soon.

Who’d a thunk it.   I have options.

Though I am grateful I didn’t just take the first thing that came along, I am finding it to be a far more of a challenge then I had ever considered, having options.  I have been working with a couple companies for some time to get to the point of even getting the offer.   In fact, the reason I have so many is because the first one took so long to get to this point and I couldn’t handle not knowing if I was going to get the job or not.  I don’t do well with being dangled.

I have this incredible sense of loyalty that I fear often taints my decisions.   One company has really nice people, a really nice school, but took THE Longest time to get back to me; which means I’ve been working with them for 3 weeks and just now got their official offer.  But, that sense of loyalty says, “You have to go with them, you’ve been talking with them for the longest time”.  It’s a very decent offer, but if it takes this long to get anything done, then……..?

A different part of me says, “Go with this one, they have the best benefit package and God knows you could use some good insurance”.   And of course there’s the third part of me that says, “Best offer, not a great place, you need the money right now, not the safety”.

What’s a girl to do?  Loyalty, benefits, or money with a scare?

 

Multiple nights a week I have been up until 2-3am with interviews from various Asian countries.  I have had trouble staying asleep after 4am.  But YES, I have finally been able to sleep the last few days.  Thank goodness, and I’m doing it without medication!   I am using these meditation soundtracks and whether I’m just in a meditation coma or actually asleep, I don’t care, I feel so much better in the morning.  Sleep makes all the difference in the world!

I have moved again.  I’m staying at mama’s until I leave for the other side of the world.  It’s like a constant state of movement that just solidifies that Albuquerque is not where I belong.  I don’t belong here, I never have and it’s time to find out where it is I do belong.  How do I do that?  Get out there and explore!

I send many thanks to my adopted mother, aka mama.  I am not sure where I’d be without her.  Her home is and will always be the safest place I know.  AND  it has a Jacuzzi tub and a 4 person steam shower with three shower heads and a fully tiled bench all the way around.   How could I possibly go wrong here?

It helps that mama is a Shaman.  I can work with her and get some guidance in this job hunt.  It is difficult and taxing, mostly because I know I will be happy wherever I teach, but how will I know which one will be most beneficial to my goals and future?

Shaman magic, that’s how.

I will let you all know as soon as I know the where’s and when’s of my future employment.

 

 

 

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THE COLOR RUN

THE COLOR RUN

Saturday was an amazing wonderful, fun, exhausting, and exhilarating day.  After not sleeping because of being so excited, I got out of bed at 5:00am ready to begin getting ready for The Color Run!!

Yes, I can officially take participating in a real race off of my Bucket List.  I am a Color Runner!  It’s pretty cool how not-difficult it was.  I have not done a 5k before because *first I thought it would be really hard and *then I thought it was going to be taxing on my neck.  Granted I power walked more than I ran (way more if truth be known), but I made it easily.  I can definitely see me doing this more often now.  I keep seeing new signs around town for various 5k’s and I think, oo I can do that one!

That is an awesome side effect of accomplishing a goal; the realization that I can do it again.  The fear of the unknown is taken away.   Taking my power back from fear helps me realize that I can do more than what I’ve already accomplished, more than what I’ve already dreamed of.

I got to the meet up location at Civic Plaza and waited for my teammates. Beth, Jamie and I make up Team Prismatic Accelerators, yes sir.   Once everyone had their t-shirts, number bibs, uber cool headbands, wristbands, etc – we put all the extra stuff in Beffer’s bag and headed to the start line.  There was an INCREDIBLE amount of people!!  5 city blocks 20 people wide!  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that many people in one spot before.  There were 15,000 registered when they closed online registration, with more people signing up that morning.   There were so many people that they had us start in waves.  The first wave of runners came through the finish line before we even got to start and we were somewhere in the middle of the pack.

I really liked how they had the route double back over itself.  I do not know if this is normal as I’ve never run one of these races before, but I really liked high fiving the people who were “in front of” me and then high fiving those that were “behind” me as I was doubling back.  It was pretty awesome!!  There is no doubt in my mind that this was indeed the most fun 5k on the planet.

After a nap and a little work and another nap, Jamie and I went out dancing.  I’ve been bugging for a month or so to go dancing, so I finally talked someone in to taking me.  THANKS JAMIE!  I danced my little patooty off for a couple hours and had just decided on one more song before leaving.  Right in the middle of the last song we were going to stay for, I was trampled on my some enormous drunk lout.  It is funny that with all the people in there it had to be the giant that decided to attempt removing my foot at the ankle with his awesome dance moves.  But, it is fine, no major harm done.  I am walking without issue.

I got TONS of work done on the still enormous amount of stuff to go through and sort out and pack away before leaving in 8 days.   8 days!!   AAAAAaaaaaGhhhhhhhh!   I’m so excited!!

I’ve been hitting the grammar books, doing some major brush ups.  Besides the packing, I’m ready.  Hold onto your pants, Prague.  I am a mere week away.

 

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Oh goodness, it’s a freak out week

So, here it is the day I’ve been dreading.  The day that the initial momentum lost its stride, and tripped.   I know that this is partially because we’ve been interrupted twice now by school-wide things that are unavoidable. Between the two events we lost 6 days over two weeks.  It is far more difficult to start and stop than to keep plugging along.

That time did give me some much needed time to get all the grades into the computer and off of my clipboard.  My Master Teacher looked over the grades.  The students dropped from a turn-in rate of 95% to 90% and she wanted a better idea of the quality of work.  Generally speaking, their doing fantastically.  But, there are a few that have fizzled out in quality as well as quantity.  I lost 2-4 students from each of my classes.  I started with 58 students working with me and as of today, I’m down to 50.

“This is called differentiation”, I’m reminded.  If they need to work on something else to help keep their grades up, then we have them work on something else.  It feels disheartening in some ways, but I want them to get the best grades possible, so….. It’s for the best.

50 students who are now in freakout mode for finishing their testing and trying to make sure they have  their homework done well and on-time.  Realistically I only have about 10 students in freakout mode, the rest are keeping up and there is about 15 doing really well.  I have a beautiful front-loaded bell curve happening. I’ll take that.

To have 50 students that are each taking a personal interest in their education for the sake of being educated is an amazing thing.

These students are writing things like,

“I can relate to Cosette because I know what it’s like to be in the low class and not have my mother.  I know how she feels that she wants her mother.”

“This book is like a reality show that was written way back in the day but is just like what is happening now-a-days.”

“It talks about characters that are good but are seen as bad because of what class they come from.  We are having the same thing now.”

“Jean Valjean chose to get his education when he was in the galleys.  I can connect to Jean Valjean in that I am choosing to get my education, and I will be in a higher class than my parents, like Javert did.”

I have another day before I can begin again, but there are no foreseeable interruptions for the rest of the time.  I am changing a few things I do to change the layout of the classroom.  Hopefully that will help the students get another surge as we head into the second half of Les Miserables.

And hopefully no more freak out weeks, that have to do with my students anyway!  Ha, I still have to finish my portfolio, turn it in, get an evaluation, apply for me teaching license.  That is a whole other blog  ):(

Until next time……

 

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