Archive for December, 2014

Good-Bye to 2014

December 31, 2014

So much has happened in this past year, Jan.2014 feels like a century ago. Here are some of the highlights in no particular order:

  • At least 3 young black men were needlessly killed by law enforcement, which should be a shame for the nation, yet people rally on both sides, both convinced only their way is right. Each side in denial, we learn nothing. Remembering Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, and Tamir Rice, in the footsteps of Trayvon Martin and Emmet Till…
  • Airplanes started dropping out of the sky near Indonesia and disappearing without a trace. Seems like this most recent one has been found.
  • I completed 6 exemplary years at a 4-yr-institution, at the end of which 2 of my own students won 1st and 2nd place at a statewide research competition, and then was denied tenure for reasons I will never be told and never understand.
  • That same summer I applied and secured a new position with a promotion to Associate Professor, and a raise of some magnitude. Sometimes when He closes a window, He opens a door.
  • My grandchildren turned 18, 13, 8, 4 and 1; step-grands turned 13, 8, 4 and 2 I believe. I can’t keep track of my kids’ ages. 🙂
  • My husband and I turned 63 and 61. I started medication for stiff joints, my husband is having trouble walking. 🙂
  • We both have decent jobs.
  • I did a neighborhood summer children’s class in a very low-income, low education-level neighborhood (in which I live with a PhD), for 40-50 children. We learned virtues and cultures of the world, read books out loud, acted out “The boy who cried Wolf,” played games and made soap.
  • I started animating a junior youth class for 11-14 yr-olds with 6 current members.
  • My husband published his first book of poetry and had 150 in attendance of the opening. His weekly poetry/music venue continues for the 4th straight year and is well attended.
  • Had 13-yr-old grandson here for 2 weeks in the summer, during which time he interacted with my children’s class, got into a fight and was offered drugs in the neighborhood. (We have to move.)
  • Naylah, the 4-yr-old learned to read. Zakiah, the 8-yr-old tested at 6th grade reading level.
  • We moved in Feb. to a low-income predominantly African American neighborhood. Since I teach at an HBCU I am literally with black and brown people all day long, at work and at home. 🙂
  • Our friend The Dubber played at NB College. This was a true highlight!
  • My youngest grandson turned one, learned to walk and learned to talk.
  • Joe Cocker is no longer with us.
  • AL and I lived without television this entire year. I miss the news! I listen to NPR but miss the visual. I also miss First 48, National Geographic, and Discovery Health channel. I heard not one blatantly repugnant political ad.
  • I taught criminal justice at a rural SC HBCU during the Ferguson tragedy.
  • Barbaric, violent groups took over parts of the Middle East and publicly beheaded numerous people, including some Americans. I find this terrifying and disgusting. They have turned their backs to education, progress, peacefulness, cooperation and consultation.
  • Despite denying her citizenry free money for education from the Federal government in a state that is known for one of the worst educational systems in the United States, Nikki Haley was re-elected. People are stupid.
  • President Obama moved forward on health care, many issues for women, and enacted his own form of LONG OVERDUE immigration legislation because our Congressional representatives can’t get their heads out of their ______ and pass something they know is needed.
  • Our unemployment rates are back down to nearly what they were before the 2008 recession.
  • We lived another year without having to clear ice and snow off our cars (except for one fluke storm last Feb.) or let our cars heat up 10 minutes before getting in them to go somewhere.
  • Our youngest child got married!
  • Family vacation in Michigan last June, on a lake. My husband ruptured 2 discs in his back by falling into a canoe.
  • Family get together at AL’s parents last week, all but daughter & son in law from North Carolina and AL’s sister in FL. Spent the week at AL’s parents. May be the last time to sleep there a whole week. My neck is still recovering.
  • My publication on “Code of the Street” in an encyclopedia on criminal justice was published.
  • A former professor and friend who influenced me greatly in sociology passed away months ago. I discovered his obituary on the Internet by accident.
  • I got back in touch w/ a friend from grad school.
  • Both our vehicles broke down on the same night after which it took a full 4 months to get them both running well again.
  • I made a deal with the devil (meaning, Mohela who owns our parent loans), so they won’t go into default and totally ruin our credit rating.
  • Paid off Pennys credit card, Disney movies account, one small loan and one medical bill. Paid down on others.

New Year South Carolina

December 31, 2014

A bird sings outside my window

announcing the New Year,

This is “winter” in South Carolina,

Leaves cover my yard so thick

there is nowhere to begin,

They provide a cover for squirrels

to hide their treasures,

A blanket for snakes

to pursue their path,

The Sun shines bright

providing warmth,

It is 50 degrees,

and a Carolina Wren

sings her song of promise.

cfblack              12-31-2014

2014 in review

December 29, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My middle name

December 17, 2014

My middle name

I used to hate my middle name

Until I learned its meaning,

It came from my Grandma Mary,

The one who washed my mouth out with soap,

The one who taught us not to swear,

The one who was always there,

The name sounded “old” like her,

On TV, it was also a Mule,

The name was so very NOT cool,

I kept it hidden away,

Not claiming it as a part of me,

Until I learned that it meant:

to be free,

And then, this name appealed to me,

My first name of Carol has the meaning of Song,

Music – Melody – Verses and words

That lift the spirit, like the song of a bird,

Song of Freedom is not a bad name,

Not a bad name at all.

cfblack                  12-17-2014