Category Archives: Blogger Tribe

A Dream & Reality

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

These words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28th, 1963. Most Americans and citizens of the world know this part of the speech. He had a dream that went beyond just the African American community. There was the inclusion of other races and it was a beautiful dream.

In the world of education we see this a lot and hear this buzzword a lot: diversity. We know what it means by how does it play a part? In most large cities it’s glaringly obvious of how it plays a part. But if you’re from a small town in West Virginia where a majority of residents are Caucasian it’s not so obvious. I work at my childhood elementary school and I see more diversity there now then when I attended there. Allow me to give you a snapshot of my classmates. There were 2 Latinos, 1 African American, 1 Asian. That’s it. All of my teachers were Caucasian and that was just how it was. I saw zero representation of my ethnicity anywhere and that’s not my parents fault nor anyone else’s. And none of my classmates every pointed out that I had a different skin tone or looked completely different from them. But what’s the point of this background story? And what does it have to do with Dr. King’s dream? Everything. 

Let me put it into better context. I’m the lone teacher at my school that is of another race. A few weeks ago I had a new student arrive and throughout the morning he kept staring at me and smiling. At first I thought he was just happy to be making friends but finally I asked him why he was smiling. He said, “Because my teacher is just like me. I’ve never had a teacher that looked like me.” I asked him what he meant by that and he pointed to his skin and then mine. It was then that I fully understood how this student was viewing me. A few weeks later I get another new student and he’s Latino. When I went to the front office to meet him the second he saw me and I introduced myself as his teacher his smile grew. Later in the afternoon the first student, D, motioned me over and then pointed to himself, me, and K and whispered, “Ms. Barrick, slowly but surely we’re taking over this classroom.” “What do you mean,” I asked. “You know, we’re adding a splash of color to this classroom.” Smiling I knew exactly how he felt. It would have been nice at times when I was in elementary school to have looked around my classroom and seen someone else with my skin tone. I wouldn’t have felt so alone.

As a teacher of another ethnicity I always take the time when I’m seeing so much hate in the news (nationally and locally) to talk to my students about the events. I want them to understand different viewpoints and to realizing not everyone has the same opportunities as themselves. Whether that’s based on the color of their skin, their SES, gender, physical abilities, etc. My classroom is one that fosters inclusion and we value our small family in Room 204 on their character and morals. Not the color of their skin. If you’re seeking some bright and good news come to my room & you’ll find it because I’m so proud of all of my kids.

 

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Sunday Lately #158

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and myself. We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

In a blink of an eye the first complete week of 2018 is now behind us.  Time for a snapshot review.

Cherishing…my additional free time to read. I read a couple of books while on Christmas Break but then I resumed watching Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon. A few days ago I bought the book The Frontiersmen by Allan Eckert. It’s set during the 1700s which is a time period that I’m typically not a fan of. However by the first night I had read for over 2 hours and found it extremely captivating. I finished it today and I was quite sad to see it come to an end.  Sticking with this time period I’m going to continue with Prairie Fires. This novel is a more in-depth look into the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and now that school is canceled for tomorrow I’m going to have another free day!

Applauding…the love of music my students are fostering this year. I found a ReadWorks Article a Day set about 20th Century Composers for last week. The first day we read about John Cage & his aleatoric music. Thursday was Claude Debussy. After we read that article I had the students complete a Venn Diagram and then we listened to their music. The class was split on whether Cage’s aleatoric music was truly music or not. One student compared it to what one would hear during a scene in a horror film while another compared it to the music the Demogorgon would listen to in the Upside Down. That comparison made me laugh. They loved how dreamy and soft sounding Debussy’s pieces were. Next week we will read about Duke Ellington & Scott Joplin and compare/contrast their music. Then we will compare/contrast Amy Beach & George Gershwin. My students love how much of a musical person their teacher is and one told me, “Ms. Barrick you make music so much fun! Even that boring classical stuff they play at the opera.”

Singing…the new song Bruno Mars released. Finesse has a 90s feel to it and with the addition of Cardi B it sounds almost like a TLC song with Bell Biv Devoe. It’s so upbeat and the perfect song to get me up and moving in the morning.

 

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Redoing, Altering, Borrowing.

Welcome 2018!

This morning I woke up to sunshine beaming around the edges of my blind.  Pulling it up I was welcomed with the sight of glittering snow and abundant sunshine. However the sunshine was being quite deceptive. Looking at the temperature on my phone it was a balmy 7 degrees. After getting my coffee fixed and some Cocoa Wheat I sat down to begin writing my Aspirations for this year. But after sitting there for 15 minutes with nothing on my paper I decided that this year I’m doing something different. This year I’m choosing a word-just one word to keep me focused on this year. My word is:

Steadfast-resolutely or dutifully firm. Unwavering. Loyal. Faithful. Devoted. Dedicated. Steady. True. Single-minded. Uncompromising.

What I like about this word is I can apply it in all areas of my life. My job, family, relationship, faith, and fitness. I’m going to attempt to be more steadfast in writing in this blog this year too.

Before I went to work on my room and do some lesson plans this morning I drove on up to the local park and took some pictures.

The photo with the swing set is the view from my window at work.  There was a breeze while I was at the park and the way the snow fluttered off of the branches it looked like glitter. There is beauty in winter, despite the cold, if you’re willing to look for it. I have hope for 2018. Day 1 of 365 is nearly over but I’m happy with what I did today.

The Calling of the Saints

Every year there’s one Sunday that is quite difficult to get through. All Saints Sunday is a time when every church comes together to remember our loved ones who have passed away. For me the past few years have been hard to to say aloud the names of the my grandparents during the roll call. And at some point during the service the tears build behind my eyes and the next thing I feel are them sliding down my face. When I awoke this morning I knew that today was that Sunday. I was as prepared as I could be or so I thought. And then I checked my Facebook only to learn that a beloved member of our congregation, my church family, had passed away yesterday. My heart broke a little more and I knew then that today was going to be a little harder than planned. For you see, this man had only been diagnosed with leukemia this past July. He was in church a few weeks ago and now he’s gone. There are times when life doesn’t make sense to me and right now is one of those times.

When I arrived at church I sought comfort from my church family and they supplied it. For we were all hurting not only for his family but for our family too. My church is a tight knit group and we would do anything for one another. Even if one is a newer member they will still be there for you. The beginning of the service was okay but there were still a few solemn faces. The first hymn started to play and as we stood to sing I could feel that familiar feeling. At first I fought it and sang clearly for Charlie because I knew he always loved to hear me singing. But by the third verse the tears were streaming down my face & I had to stop.

The sermon for today was about family and how families come together during times of happiness such as weddings and new births and during times of sadness such as death. And even though the sermon was about death and the grief families often feel for months and years after one’s passing my pastor was able to make that grief a little more bearable. The next thing I knew the names of our church members who have passed away were being said. This year though we added a bell being rung after each name was said. I thought it was a nice touch. And then the pastor turned the roll call over to us and the names began to be said loudly and clearly from my church family. I took a few slow breaths and then just as clearly as the others said John & Virginia Barrick. But I could still hear my voice waver. When I said Glen Goddard again my voice wavered at the end and I could feel the tears prickling behind my eyelids. But I kept it together a little better. At the end of the service I hoped and prayed that the church ladies would not want to go to the Court restaurant. Today my heart would not have been able to handle it. This afternoon a friend shared this on Facebook & I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

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Let us remember…

Sunday Lately #135

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and Katy (Wild and Wanderful). We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Pairing, Acting, Opening, Drinking, Balancing.

Pairing:  Reading with some pool time. This afternoon was well spent outdoors reading a new YA novel. Normally I’d sit on a swing and read but today I wanted a change of scenery. I chose to sit near the Splash Zone they call it. It was the perfect spot because I was able to get the mist from the fountains.

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The slides are the latest addition to the pool, but they don’t open until tomorrow night. I may just have to go up there tomorrow night after the gym.

Acting:  Like I’m thrilled that it’s almost time to go back to school. I’m really not. Can we have another month off please?

Opening: Thinking more open-mindedly and more positively. Between something that happened this past week and today’s sermon I’ve decided it would be wiser to be more positive minded.

Drinking: More water!

Balancing: Myself on my new thinking place. Wednesday night I finally ventured down to our new docks. Well they’ve been there for over a year but I just NOW finally went all the way down onto them.

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If there’s ever a night I don’t want to drive out on 536 I can always come down to this spot. However I did learn that anytime a boat went by the whole thing rocked and I had to re-balance myself slightly.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Instagramming, Lifting, Embarking, Producing, Approving.

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Sunday Lately #133

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and Katy (Wild and Wanderful). We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Hitting, Ending, Sensing, Handling, Shining.

I’m FINALLY back & feeling ready to write again. A lot has happened since my last post and I will fill you in within this post.

Hitting: The other night I hit the wall with my stress level. Ever since my last post my stress level went through the roof. My vacation to Tennessee was wonderful & like always I didn’t want to come back. We came back on a Thursday & that night my grandmother fell in her garden and broke her left wrist, hit her head, & had to be flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital. My mother and I drove over to Morgantown the next morning, running on little sleep, and visited with her. After seeing her we felt better but that evening she fell backwards and hit her head again. She’s finally home but now she’s refusing to use the walker and doesn’t care if she falls again and it’s just super frustrating.  On top of that it looks like I’m going into another year of subbing and I’m tired of it. I swear if I hear one more person tell me to be patient or to wait my turn I may just scream. I’ve had interviews but then I always hear the same thing, “You gave a great interview and you’d be a perfect fit. However, we went with someone else.” I’m close to giving up and yet one thing keeps me from doing that. I look at the notes that I received from my 3rd then 4th grade students. I can’t walk away from that. I just can’t because when I’m in the classroom I’m happy. Fingers crossed that something happens between now and August 14th.

Ending: I’m a part of an online book club & this week we started our new read. All the Missing Girls. We were only supposed to read to page 119. I finished it in two days. I was shocked by the ending of it. The way it was told was unique and it really made you stop and think.  You almost felt like you were the detective.

Sensing: An air of change. The pastor at my church recently entered retirement and the past two Sundays we’ve had interim ministers. Our new one will be one of those two. Either one that the committee chooses I’ll be happy with. Each one was easy going and friendly. But what I really liked was both made you stop and think. Last week’s preacher made you stop and think about how we should see people. All people regardless of their education level, gender, age, race, etc. Today’s preacher talked to us about being your own superhero. We all have the ability to be our own superhero. Who is in charge of writing your story and your adventure? You. 

Handling: My stress level. After hitting the wall the other night it’s gone down somewhat. I’m hoping it stays that way.

Shining: Some self confidence into my life. I’ll admit when my stress level is high my self confidence takes a hit. Well today I took two selfies and loved them both. One before church:

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The second one was much later and with my glasses:

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Normally I hate myself in my glasses, but today I actually liked myself. It’s a start.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Trying, Buying, Capturing, Rejoicing, Clearing.

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Sunday Lately #121

Sunday Lately  is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is led by the powerhouse duo Katy (Wild and Wanderful) & Angelica (Gardening in High Heels).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Laughing, Suggesting, Reminding, Embracing, Creating.

It’s been a few Sundays since I last joined in on this weekly linkup. Time to jump back into it!

Laughing-I spent a lot of time laughing with the kids during Sunday School today. We were talking about last Sunday of how nice the Easter service was and one of them told me I was left behind. I looked at him and asked, “What do you mean by that?”

“I was left behind in the parking lot.”

“How?”

“Because of that idiot right there!”-he pointed at his older brother. Older brother just grins.

“He told Nana that I was in the car and I wasn’t!  I just stood in the lot and watched them drive off. They went down the street and turned the corner before I saw her stop and a minute later she was back.”

“Well that’s good she came back for you.”

“She didn’t come back for me! She came back to give the preacher a card. She didn’t even know I wasn’t in the car until she pulled into the parking lot!”

Cue laughter.

Suggesting-Go outside and take a walk. Enjoy the beauty of spring.

Reminding-Myself that it’s okay to do something for yourself. More on that in the next theme…

Embracing-Your inner self confidence and loving the body you have.  Yesterday was my day to go to Morgantown for the boudoir photo session I had booked a month ago. I was nervous but the second I walked into the studio and finally met Jodi it all went away. She was amazing and I felt completely comfortable. We talked a bit while I was getting my hair and makeup done and the next thing I knew it was time to start. I time went by so fast and one thing I found myself thinking was ‘I’m totally owning my sensuality right now.’ And then she let me see a couple of the pictures and I was blown away. I could see my self confidence shining through. I can’t wait to get the sneak peek email from her soon. I did this entire session for me.

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Creating-a new playlist full of songs that remind me of someone quite special. He makes me happy and I haven’t been this happy in a long time.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Digging, Aiding, Experimenting, Believing, Refreshing

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

 

 

Sunday Lately #117

Sunday Lately  is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is led by the powerhouse duo Katy (Wild and Wanderful) & Angelica (Gardening in High Heels).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Basking, Discovering, Tinkering, Feeling, Switching.

Basking: In the glow of the sunlight from this afternoon’s gorgeous sun! It was rainy for a little bit, but the sunshine has returned! It’s helped improve my mood greatly because I’ve chosen to be lazy this weekend.

Discovering: new books! My classes are finally finished and I’ve spent this weekend relaxing and looking for new books to begin reading. Right now I’m reading the one my friend wrote-Kicking Mediocrity in the Crotch: How to Get Unstuck and Take Your Life to the Next Level.

Tinkering: With my private Pinterest board that has all of my Boudoir inspiration ideas. I booked this two weeks ago but due to classes I haven’t had the time to look at ideas. Now that I can I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of clothing and poses.

Feeling: tired of being sick! I still have that stupid cough and had to go back to the doctor this Wednesday. I was given another antibiotic and maybe, just maybe, this one will work.

Switching: My work wardrobe over to my spring outfits. I’ve missed wearing these lighter dresses and the jean jackets.

A brief week but it was kind of a blur.   

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Working, Loving, Stressing, Growing, Visiting.

Sunday Lately #116

Sunday Lately  is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is led by the powerhouse duo Katy (Wild and Wanderful) & Angelica (Gardening in High Heels).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Progressing, Neglecting, Purging, Wondering, Craving. 

Progressing: I’m progressing (slowly) by slicing every day of this month for the Slice of Life Challenge. Yesterday’s piece was one that I’m really proud of & it was my first attempt at poetry. See that here (if you want).

Neglecting: Reading. I miss reading books but my classes have kept me busy since February. But after this next week I am done and I can stop reading educational articles and other people’s posts about the week’s readings. But these classes have been beneficial and I have a lot of new resources to test out with my students.

Purging: All of the negative body thoughts of myself. This past week I found myself being highly critical of my looks and my body shape again. I hate that I was able to slip back into that mindset. This morning I while I was putting on my makeup I stood there and made myself name four positive things about myself.

Wondering: If I’m ever going to feel better. My cough has subsided thanks to my antibiotic but now I have a super dry throat and I fear my allergy attack is here. To go from bronchitis straight to the allergy attack absolutely sucks. I hope tomorrow I wake up and I feel a little better.

Craving: A new tattoo. I recently started watching Bondi Ink Tattoo Crew on Netflix and now I find myself wanting a new one. I know I’d want it on the lower part of my leg and something to do with me overcoming Fall 2007. But I can’t think of something appropriate to signify that. I’d say a phoenix but that’s almost expected. I’m the type of person who wants something unique to represent that chapter of my life.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Basking, Discovering, Tinkering, Feeling, Switching. 

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe