Monday, May 8, 2017

Close Embrace

Photo by Adrienne Yvr, Seattle Tango Marathon 2017.
The sweetness
of holding someone
and being held,
knowing that,
no matter what happens 
during the journey of the dance,
that journey
you will walk together.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let the song carry you

I had always loved to play the piano, Keith told me, but then life's circumstances split us apart. I longed to play again, so someone suggested I go to the open mic event -- they have a piano. Now, I hadn't played for people before and it had been so long since I had played at all, when I got up there -- I had given myself permission to decide not to, even at the last minute -- but when I made my way up to that piano bench, I sat down and faced the smooth ivory keys. My fingers pressed one note after another and soon the music was in motion. But I noticed my hand trembling. An internal dialogue ensured: I could focus on containing the nerves manifesting themselves through my fingers, but I knew I would lose the song. Or, I could let the song carry me.

I chose the latter. And I share this story, he told me, because I think it can help you, too: When you find yourself in a place of uncertainty, anxiety and stress taking over, let your mission carry you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unless of course, you want to learn.

Thirst for #Learning

"The teacher didn't even show up," he said.
The barista: "That's always nice."
That's always nice...
unless, of course,
you want to #learn.

Why is it "cool" to say, Yay! No teacher! No work! No homework! ? Do we value our learning opportunities? And if we do not, should we not change something about what and how we are studying and teaching? Then again, it takes two. I am a firm believer that if you want to learn something, you will -- it might or might not be what you thought you would be "taught", but if I as the agent of my own learning, want to gain something from an experience, I will.

Culture & attitudes about learning. What teachers are up against. What students want. What students value. #Knowledge is #power.

Monday, December 5, 2016

What is the price tag?

"Following orders"
is just not good enough
to justify an action you know is wrong
– your soul won't buy it.
No-one makes you pull the trigger,
no-one forces your aim
toward an unarmed person’s face or groin
to cause maximum injury with those rubber bullets.
There is no-one to blame
when you soak people
– fellow human beings –
on a freezing night,
with water turning to sheets of ice.
No, it's not like a real bullet,
but you know the effect can be the same.
And knowingly, you “follow orders”.
For what?
A paycheck?
So looking back at this time, years from now,
you will have exchanged your integrity as a human being
tell me,
what is the price tag? 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Launching nonprofit Hugs that Empower!

Coming off an overdose of positivity and inspiration, I realize I haven't shared the BIG NEWS!

Here is the story...

What an empowering feeling it was to stand on the McCaw Hall stage at the SVP Fast Pitch Finals this past Tuesday and share the work that inspires me day in and day out, stories of my brave students (stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors) who -- in the face of their immense challenges -- show up each week, to dance.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

This is how you talk to strangers, Jim Hillman?

After I posted this article on my personal Facebook page about my GHS Bulldogs taking a knee, I got 40+ "angry" faces from people who are not my Facebook friends and this… 

I posted a screenshot of the message on my Facebook page and questions arose: Was this message to me? Was this a hack? People looked up Jim Hillman's profile, his employer, and even his employer's email.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Schools punish poor families by isolating kids

A public school in the UK is punishing students for overdue lunch fees:
"Children whose parents had not paid off lunch debts were made to sit in 'lunch isolation' away from friends and given substitute meals"

Here is a copy of the letter sent out to parents:

And the full article:

Schools should be places of sanctuary. I'm tired of people saying, Well if the parents taught their kids this or that. My students were my kids. If they acted out, they made me look bad. And I told them so. Not your parents. You spend 5 hours of your week with me, I am responsible, too. And if a child needs something, something as basic as food, we need to help them. Sad, sad, sad.

It takes a village. We are that village.