April 22, 2012

Trayvon Martin

My condolences go out to the Trayvon Martin family. After hearing that George Zimmerman was released on a $150,000 bail is outrageous. Whether or not he is guilty, he is being accused of a heinous crime. As a teacher, I can only imagine the hurt Trayvon’s parents are feeling. 

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February 23, 2012

Action or no action

After going public about the abuse of power occurring at my workplace, friends asked me if I was concerned about losing my job, my career, retaliation, etc. My response to them was very simple. I told my friends that after careful consideration I came to the conclusion that either way, action or no action would each have consequences and I preferred the former. I was committed to exposing the hostile work environment that has impacted the women and children at my school. I was at peace knowing that I stood up against a hostile work environment and I accepted that there would be consequences. I refuse to lose sleep over what ‘might’ happen. I prepare for the worse, but hope for the best. This knowledge has given me a sense of freedom and a peace of mind.

February 16, 2012

Dealing with a workplace bully

Workplace bully

This blog was created as a result of my experience with a workplace bully. I want to share my experience and how I am taking action to empower myself and others around me. A bully can cause a lot of stress and sometimes you may feel like running away. I recommend that you don’t because workplace bullies will be everywhere. Please listen to advice I’ve provided in the following videos.

August 24, 2011

A Longer School Day

I just got home from the gym about 15 minutes ago. Now, I’m preparing to cook dinner and clean my apartment. In addition, I have to finish my schedule for my students and review IEPs. I get exhausted just writing about it. I need to get all this done before 10pm so that I can squeeze in 6-7 hours of asleep. Yet, Chicago Public Schools wants to increase the day by 90 minutes. I can only imagine how this new school day will affect the rest of my life, can you?

I exercise for my emotional and physical health. I also like to have a home-cooked meal and a clean apartment. I don’t even have to explain what I do outside of work. Working till 4/4:30pm is going to take a lot of adjusting and it will be very stressful especially at the beginning.

Take the time to share how a longer school day will affect your life.

August 9, 2011

My Dear Friend Lily

This past weekend was a very emotional one for me. Not only did I attend a funeral this past weekend, but I also visited a friend of mine, Lily who is fighting breast cancer. I saw her at a BBQ Sunday in the south side of Chicago. We hadn’t seen each other for a year or so. On Sunday I texted Lily on the way to the BBQ just to let her know I would definitely be there. She texted me in return to warn me that she didn’t look like herself. Not for one split second did I wonder about her appearance. I was more concerned about her progress and simply couldn’t wait to give her a hug and catch up on girl talk. I arrived early and anxiously waited for her arrival. I kept picturing the same 23 year-old girl I met five years ago at Orozco Academy. My image of Lily will always be the confident, Kourtney Kardashian look-alike in heels and manicured nails. I will forever picture the same good friend that was at mother’s funeral and constantly called to make sure my family and I were alright. She has always been a caring and supportive friend.

I want Lily to know that no matter the circumstance or situation, I always see her as the same girl I met five years ago. She’s still beautiful.

August 6, 2011

Good friends

This post is dedicated to my good friend Elwanda. She recently lost someone very special. I attended the service today for her loved one.  I saw her sitting and listening as friends said good-bye. That’s Elwanda, a tower of strength. She was there for me when my mother passed away. Always called to check up on me or to listen to me.  I will always be grateful to her. It was very important to me to support her today.  Having friends that will be with you in the good and bad times is essential to maintaining a balanced life.

August 2, 2011

The choice is yours

It’s been a while since I last posted an entry. I’ve been busy with other areas in my life and I’m preparing to return to work this Wednesday after a nice six-week summer vacation. Still working on finding balance in my life. Recently, things have not worked out as I planned and guess what? I’m okay. I understand that it is my choice to become upset and stay that way or acknowledge my feelings and move on. In doing so I have so much more energy to find the opportunities in the most difficult of times. Knowing that I have a choice in whether I react or not is empowering. Next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, remember that you have the power in choosing your experience. The choice is yours.

July 13, 2011

A balanced life

Yesterday a good friend cooked me a delicious Italian meal. As I set the table, Paul cooked.  He knew I had just come back from a trip and I was tired. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal. We hadn’t seen each other in months, but I was so thankful for having such a friend. Having the support of family and friends is vital to living a healthy and happy life, yet I haven’t always taken my own advice. I’ve been very busy with my career, exercise, and nutrition that I haven’t nurtured certain relationships that are important to me. Thus, I can sometimes feel incomplete. So what am I doing to nurture my relationships with family and friends? First, I find time to nourish myself so that I am more emotionally, physically and mentally available to family and friends. I do things I love to do such as traveling for pleasure, shopping and dancing. Instead of using Facebook, whenever I have a few minutes I call friends to say hello or to plan a get-together such as cooking dinner or just laying out at the beach. I don’t have to find 30 mins for a phone call, instead just five minutes here and there can make a difference. I make phone calls so that the conversation is at a more personal level.

So take the time to nurture the relationships that will surely help you feel more balanced.

 

July 4, 2011

Vitaminas

Bikini weather is definitely here in Chicago. I shared a recipe with friends that were looking to slim down for the summer. All along the streets of Copacabana, Brazil there are food stands that sell vitaminas. In Brazil, vitaminas are smoothies made with milk or yogurt. So yummy. I’ve posted the recipe for the ‘automatic pilot’ recommended by Regina Joseph. This smoothie fills you up in the morning and you also get the vitamins and water your body needs. So put away the cereal box and bagels and enjoy a vitamina.

1 packet frozen acai pulp (Whole Foods orTrader Joes)
1 banana
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (I have now switched to almond milk and sometimes I prefer water)
1 teaspoon peanut butter (I use almond butter or sometimes 6 whole raw almonds)
¼ cup ice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and voila! You have a delicious vitamina.

Note: When I run out of acai pulp I use a handful of blueberries 2-3 strawberries.

 

June 23, 2011

Dignity

I’ve attended two rallies in the past two weeks in support of Chicago Public School teachers and I must say my throat is sore from shouting. The 4% raise that we won’t be getting this school year is not the only reason I’m attending these rallies. As a teacher I want my presence to make a statement and that is that I have dignity and will fight to keep better pay, healthcare, work hours, etc. We had a good turn out at the rally and I hope future ones are even more successful.